The Buffalo Bills gained one offensive weapon Friday, and remain hopeful they’ll add another by next week.
Free agent wide receiver/kickoff returner Percy Harvin – who, when healthy and happy, has displayed dynamic flashes – agreed to a one-year contract with the Bills, The News confirmed. The Bills had yet to make it official as of Friday night, but an NFL source said it was a “done deal.” The agreement was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The News also learned that the Bills did not, as expected, sign tight end Charles Clay to an offer sheet Friday, but, according to a source close to the situation, still fully intend to do so.
The Miami Dolphins continue to keep a transition tag on Clay, meaning they would have five days from the time the player accepts the offer sheet to decide whether to match it to retain him or allow him to leave.
Harvin, 26, gives the Bills a more explosive third receiver, behind Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, than they had with incumbent Chris Hogan. Harvin also is a game-breaking threat as a kickoff returner and can be effective both as a runner and a receiver.
Harvin, who has six years of NFL experience, entered the open market after playing eight games last season with the New York Jets, who were coached by new Bills coach Rex Ryan. Harvin also worked with wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal, who also is with the Bills.
Prior to being traded to the Jets, Harvin played eight games for the Seattle Seahawks, whom he joined in 2013 in trade with the Minnesota Vikings.
Harvin finished last season with 51 receptions for 483 yards and one touchdown – 22 catches for 133 yards with Seattle and 29 catches for 350 yards and a touchdown with the Jets.
In 2009, the Vikings drafted Harvin from Florida, and he was named The Associated Press’ NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. But he eventually wore out his welcome in Minnesota and was shipped to Seattle in exchange for a first- and seventh-round draft pick in 2013, and a third-round draft pick in 2014. The Seahawks signed him to a contract worth $67 million, including $25.5 million guaranteed.
In 2013 with the Seahawks, Harvin missed all but one regular-season game after undergoing hip surgery. However, he returned for Super Bowl XLVIII and returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown to help the Seahawks to their lopsided victory against the Denver Broncos.
Harvin is not without baggage. In Seattle, he was alleged to have had altercations with teammates in the locker room and reportedly there were games from which he removed himself and refused to return.
For his career, Harvin has played in 68 games, catching 332 passes for 3,802 yards and 21 touchdowns. He has returned 147 kickoffs for 4,019 yards (with a long of 105 yards) and five touchdowns. In addition, Harvin has rushed 140 times for 885 yards and five touchdowns.