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Mailbag: Let Harvin become someone else’s headache

By now, I’m sure everyone has recovered from my April Fool’s retirement announcement. You’re not getting rid of me that easily. Besides, I have miles of unanswered mail to go through before I sleep.

Things have tapered some lately, with the Bills being relatively quiet. It’ll probably pick up as we approach the draft later this month. Anyway, let’s get to it. If I get distracted, it’s because the Masters is on in the other room.

Anthony Pasceri asks: Let me get this straight. Percy Harvin, after going through four teams in five years, constantly injured, and basically going AWOL on the Bills last year after five games, is being considered by the Bills for next season?

Sully: Doug Whaley has expressed interest in bringing Harvin back, though it’s looking more and more remote. But you’re right, it’s amazing that they would consider him after last year, and bespeaks their lack of faith in Robert Woods as the nominal No. 2 receiver.

The Bills weren’t sure Harvin wanted to play this season because of his various injuries, mainly his chronic hip. The News has been told that he definitely wants to play in 2016. Harvin wants guaranteed money, which will be difficult considering his history of health and personal issues.

Harvin played only five games last season with Buffalo. He pocketed $6 million, a hefty return for his trouble. That’s even more cash per game than Mario Williams heisted from the franchise in his final year in town.

As you might recall, there was lingering mystery about Harvin’s status last year. The Bills thought he wanted to retire. But if he had quit, he wouldn’t have collected all of that $6 million. After the season, the Bills voided the last two years of his contract and Harvin became a free agent.

There was a feeling that Harvin had played the Bills for suckers to get his money. So yes, it’s a bit outrageous that they would be willing to take another stab at him. But Rex Ryan has a fascination with speed, and the Bills would be willing to give him another shot if the price was right.

But the Bills are in no position to give Harvin guarantees, and they’d be fools to do it after last year. He would likely need to play for the veteran minimum and win a job in training camp – a humbling deal for a man of Harvin’s considerable ego.

It’s not as if a healthy Harvin couldn’t help the Bills. After five games last season, he was the team’s leading receiver and had established more of a chemistry with quarterback Tyrod Taylor than Woods had to that point.

Ryan gave Harvin chances with the Jets and Bills. Whaley’s interest is a reflection of his head coach. But if the Bills can’t make a good financial offer, it’s hard to see Harvin coming back, which is for the best. Let him be someone else’s headache.

@mickeybrocks asks: I know you love lists. Can you list in your opinion the five best NCAA title games ever? Nova/Carolina #1?

Sully: There’s a tendency after every great game to instantly declare it the best ever. Sure, for sheer drama and quality of basketball, that ’Nova win last Monday has to rate near the top of the list.

But how can fans who weren’t born judge title games that took place in the ’50s and ’60s? It was a different game back then, without a shot clock and before African-Americans achieved total equality in the sport.

It’s a subjective argument, and everyone has a bias. I’ll stick up for the old days and, in the case of my top pick, the first title game I ever saw:

1. Texas Western 72, Kentucky 65 (1966). Don Haskins uses the first all-Black starting five to beat Adolph Rupp. A turning point in college basketball history. I watched it at age 10 on a black-and-white TV.

2. Villanova 66, Georgetown 64 (1985). At the height of the Big East, the Wildcats deny the Patrick Ewing-led Hoyas a second straight title. ’Nova shot 22-for-28 from the field.

3. North Carolina 54, Kansas 53 (3 OT, 1957). Not an artistic triumph. There was a lot of stalling. But a famous defeat for the great Wilt Chamberlain.

4. Michigan State 75, Indiana State 64 (1979). The first epic meeting between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, who ushered the game into the modern era.

5. Villanova 77, North Carolina 74 (2016). It’s got to be at least this high, right? Hard to beat a well-played game decided by a three-pointer at the buzzer.

@buffalodad asks: Do you think EJ would succeed if he were to get away from Buffalo or is he now a journeyman QB?

Sully: It’s hard to be a journeyman if you haven’t gone anywhere. I don’t think Manuel would thrive in a different setting any more than J.P. Losman did. He’s simply not good enough to be a viable NFL quarterback.

It was laughable to hear Rex Ryan refer to Manuel as one of the top backups in the NFL last year. He wouldn’t be the backup on the vast majority of NFL teams. Doug Whaley forced Manuel on the coaches as the No. 2 last year.

The company line was that Manuel needed to be the backup to further his development. But two straight coaching staffs have lost faith in him as an NFL player. I could see EJ being out of the NFL in two more years.

James Griffin asks: Do you think the PGA should start Spiething the golf course like they did when Tiger was dominating the tour so the rest of the field has a chance to win? This guy is the best golfer I have ever seen.

Sully: How would you do that, James? Jordan Spieth isn’t especially long off the tee. He was 62nd in driving distance as of the last PGA statistics. He was only 79th in greens in regulation. So you wouldn’t stop the guy by making the courses longer or tighter.

The guy is great at getting the ball into the hole. Maybe they could make him chip and putt with one hand tied behind his back, or have heavy metal bands playing around the greens when it’s his turn to play.

George from Buffalo asked: I know Chris Hogan had a few drops toward the end of the season, but they were probably the result of his wrist injury. He’s the kind of receiver I think Tom Brady could make a star. What do you think?

Sully: George sent that question in February, weeks before Hogan signed with the Pats. Nice guy that I am, I felt he deserved credit.


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