GM: Harvin deal a 'coup' for Jets

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Monday, October 20, 2014

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets introduced wide receiver Percy Harvin on Monday, calling him a dynamic player who could galvanize their moribund offense.

"This could be a potential coup for the New York Jets," general manager John Idzik said, commenting for the first time on last Friday's blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks.

The defending Super Bowl champions had no use for Harvin, giving him away for a conditional sixth-round pick. The Jets were willing to look past his lack of production and off-field problems, pulling the trigger on a deal that was out of character for the usually conservative Idzik.

At 1-6, the Jets are non-contenders, but Idzik insisted "it's not too late."

Harvin, who spent the weekend learning the playbook with the offensive coaches, practiced for the first time with his new team, wearing No. 16. He's slated to meet the media after practice.

Idzik said the Jets did "a ton of background work" on Harvin, who has a history of altercations with teammates and coaches. Idzik, a former Seahawks executive, said his familiarity with his former team was an "advantage" as they performed due diligence.

"It's about looking forward, understanding what may have happened in the past -- I wasn't there, he was," Idzik said. "That's really in the rear-view mirror. It's about learning from your experiences, like everybody else, and we're looking forward."

Harvin, a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2009, had issues dating to his college days at Florida. The most infamous incident occurred on the eve of the Super Bowl last February, when he gave teammate Golden Tate a black eye during a locker-room fight.

Idzik said he's not concerned about Harvin's behavior, insisting he will thrive in the Jets' "very healthy environment."

The Jets, ranked 31st in passing offense, could use Harvin's speed and playmaking ability. Chances are, he will be an every-down player and, possibly, return kickoffs.

"Pure and simple, bringing a player like Percy in is to help our offense," said Idzik, who began substantive discussions with the Seahawks before last Thursday's loss to the New England Patriots. "He's an explosive player, he's a dynamic player. I think he can help our offense.

"I think we have some weapons, I really do. We're developing those weapons. We're developing as an offense. We're developing around Geno [Smith]. Percy will help in that regard."

Idzik has come under fire for not doing enough to improve the roster, sitting on $21 million in cap space, but he insisted this move wasn't made in reaction to public pressure.

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