Count Michael Vick among those in the New York Jets camp who feels that Percy Harvin somehow left all the baggage and reported behind-the-scenes turmoil back in Seattle.
Harvin, who apparently may have burned one too many bridges with the Seahawks before the team shipped him off to the Jets last week for arguably a pittance in return — Seattle will receive a fourth-round pick at best in exchange and a sixth-round pick at worst — is eager for yet another fresh start in the NFL.
Vick knows all about fresh starts, which is why he appears almost overconfident that Harvin can rehabilitate his tarnished image in New York, arguing that the purportedly disruptive influence Harvin is rumored to be will be a non-issue with the Jets.
“He won’t be a monster here,” Vick told the New York Post. “He won’t be a monster here. I can assure all the fans of that. That won’t take place here.”
When asked how he can be so sure about his prediction, Vick said, “‘Cause I know,” which really isn’t the most convincing declaration.
Despite Harvin’s tumultuous history, starting quarterback Geno Smith echoed his backup’s comments, guaranteeing that the extremely gifted wide receiver won’t be the locker room cancer he has been labeled during his NFL career this time around.
“I know it won’t be a problem with Percy being here while he’s here,” Smith said. “I guarantee Percy cleans his act up while he’s here. So we ain’t gonna have no problems … So Jets fans can relax and just enjoy what Percy’s gonna bring to the table.”
With the team sitting at 1-6 and seeing their season slip down the drain, taking a flier on Harvin was almost a no-brainer. The risk was minimal at best given how the Jets have struggled thus far this season. Harvin can certainly bolster the team’s offensive attack, that’s for certain.
Vick praised Harvin’s ability to “stretch the field” while Smith talked about how Harvin can “take a short pass or a short run and make it a home-run play.”
Those assessments of Harvin’s onfield gifts have never been a topic of debate. It’s the headache he appears to become, now with two organizations who seemingly felt it was better to let him go and lose his immense talents than be forced to deal with him on a day-to-day basis.
Whether Harvin is able to finally shed the image as a surly malcontent during his time with the Jets remains to be seen. He certainly gives the team a dynamic offensive weapon in the interim, and he has seemed capable of being the consummate good teammate for a decent stretch of time.
But when things start going south — something that could easily happen with the Jets as the team stumbles through the first half of the season, whispers of locker room controversy and behind-the-scenes strife inevitably begin to surface. It’s too soon to know which Percy will show up when times get tough.