Percy Harvin will come out of retirement and play the rest of the 2016 season with the Buffalo Bills, according to his agent, Greg Barnett. The Bills later confirmed that Harvin is returning to Buffalo.
Barnett told SB Nation that “Percy feels great and is excited to be back playing football.”
Rex Ryan, who coached Harvin with the Jets and in Buffalo, says they hope to “catch lightning in a bottle” with a fully healthy Harvin.
“Percy is a guy that worked so hard,” Ryan said. “It’s either full speed (or nothing), and sometimes you try to back him down a little bit, but that’s why last year he was so frustrated that he wasn’t able to contribute more to our team. He just needed some time away from the game to get healed up.”
Harvin spent the 2015 season with the Bills, but only played in five games before landing on injured reserve with knee and hip injuries. Harvin’s talent is undeniable, but his health has hindered him throughout his career. When he’s healthy, however, he’s dynamic.
He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2009 draft, and Harvin spent time with four different teams over his seven-year career. Debilitating migraines and ankle injuries hindered him with the Vikings, but he was named to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season after racking up 2,081 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns.
The Vikings traded Harvin to the Seahawks following the 2012 season, and he spent the 2013 season with the Seahawks. His contributions were limited due to a nagging hip injury, but Harvin did run back the opening kick in the second half of Super Bowl XLVIII for a touchdown, helping the Seahawks beat the Broncos.
The New York Jets were Harvin’s next stop after the Seahawks traded him in the middle of the 2014 season. He finished the season with 955 all-purpose yards over eight games.
Harvin signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Buffalo Bills prior to the 2015 season and landed on injured reserve after just five games. He announced his retirement in April.
Prior to retirement, Harvin had 351 catches for 4,020 yards and 22 touchdowns, as well as 916 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground. He also ran back five kick returns for touchdowns.
The Bills are thin at wide receiver with Sammy Watkins and Greg Salas both on injured reserve. Robert Woods has a foot injury and Brandon Tate is working through the league’s concussion protocol, so as long as Harvin stays healthy, he should be an asset to Buffalo’s offense and special teams.
Given Harvin’s familiarity with the Bills’ offense, it’s possible he’ll be able to take the field when Buffalo faces off against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football.