If the Jets keep receiver Percy Harvin on the roster through March 19, the sixth-round pick they owe the Seahawks will escalate to a fourth-round pick. Which means that the Jets need to decide, before March 19, whether to keep Harvin around.
Keeping Harvin around under his current contract means paying him $10.5 million for 2015. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Jets and Harvin’s agent will be talking soon, with the goal of working out a revised arrangement.
If that revised arrangement entails Harvin taking less than $10.5 million in cash this year, look for Harvin to reject it. At most, Harvin likely would agree to converting the vast majority of the salary to a signing bonus, allowing the cap hit to be spread over multiple years and reduced in 2015.
While the Jets don’t need to do this, based on a projected cap bulge of more than $50 million even with Harvin’s $10.5 million on the books, it’s a way to make more money available for other players, such as, for example, a possible run at a reunion with Darrelle Revis.
If the Jets and Harvin can’t reach a deal, watch these three teams closely: the Chargers, Packers, and Patriots. With any of those, Harvin could do a one-year deal, partner with one of the best quarterbacks in the game, have a huge year, chase a championship, and set himself up for a bigger contract in 2016.
The most intriguing team is the one we’ve mentioned multiple times in recent weeks on PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio and Pro Football Talk on NBCSN: The Patriots. As PFT reported back in October, the Seahawks didn’t contact the Patriots about a possible trade for Harvin before dumping him on the Jets. So it’s unknown whether the Patriots would have been interested in adding Harvin to a receiving corps that could use a guy who can stretch the field.
Given the friendship between Patriots coach Bill Belichick and former Florida coach Urban Meyer, Belichick becomes the ultimate litmus test for determining whether Harvin can be trusted over the course of a full season. Although Harvin was a model citizen during his extra-large cup of coffee with the Jets, he’s been run out of Minnesota and Seattle for a reason. If Meyer tells Belichick to stay away, that doesn’t bode well for Harvin’s future prospects.
Still, the possibility that Harvin could make his way to Foxboro could be enough to get the Jets to find a way to keep him around.