Wide receiver Percy Harvin coming out of retirement to sign contract with Buffalo Bills
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Percy Harvin is preparing to come out of retirement to rejoin the Buffalo Bills and reinforce their injury-depleted group of receivers.
Harvin’s agent, Greg Barnett, first announced his client’s intentions on Tuesday morning. The receiver was at the Bills facility meeting with team officials, and his signing is dependent on him passing a physical.
Staying healthy has been a career-long issue for Harvin, and eventually led to him announcing his retirement in April following an injury-shortened season with Buffalo. He had 19 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown in five games with the Bills before being sidelined by lingering hip and knee injuries.
Now the 28-year-old Harvin has the opportunity to fill an immediate need at a banged-up receiver position, and with the Bills (4-4) preparing to travel to play at one of his former teams, Seattle (4-2-1), on Monday.
In a 41-25 loss to New England on Sunday, Buffalo opened without three of its four top receivers and then lost backup Brandon Tate to a possible concussion.
Starter Sammy Watkins is on injured reserve with a left foot injury, but is eligible to return later this month. No. 2 receiver Robert Woods is playing despite an injury to his right foot, and speedster Marquise Goodwin’s status is uncertain after missing one game because of a concussion.
The mere news of Harvin being in Buffalo provided a lift to a team seeking a spark after two straight losses.
“That’s my boy, I’m definitely excited,” quarterback Tyrod Taylor said. Taylor and Harvin grew up in the Virginia Beach, Virginia, area and played high school football and basketball against each other.
“Percy obviously is a dynamic playmaker,” said fullback Jerome Felton, who also played with Harvin in Minnesota. “If he’s healthy, you’re adding an A-plus player to the team.”
Bills coach Rex Ryan is very familiar with Harvin and his multiple-threat ability as a receiver, runner and special teams returner.
Ryan was in his final year coaching the Jets in 2014 when New York acquired Harvin in a trade with Seattle.
Harvin retired with 351 receptions, 4,936 yards of offense and 32 total touchdowns.
The Vikings drafted Harvin in the first round in 2009 after he helped Florida win two national titles in three seasons. He went on to earn NFL offensive rookie of the year honors in finishing with 60 receptions and eight touchdowns, including two on kickoff returns.
His enjoyed his best season in 2011 with Minnesota, where he caught 87 passes for 967 yards. Harvin’s production dwindled after that in part because of hip- and concussion-related injuries.
The Bills also placed safety Aaron Williams on injured reserve on Tuesday as he hurt his neck in a loss at Miami. His father told the AP last week that Williams plans to wait until the offseason to determine whether to continue playing.