Exactly one day before the NFL Draft is set to kick off, Percy Harvin, a wide receiver who has been out of the sport for more than three years, announced he’d like to come back and play for a team this year. The former Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Seattle Seahawks player reached out to ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Wednesday morning to tell her he’s ready to be back.
Anderson reported the news on Twitter, adding Harvin said he thought he was done playing for good, but he felt that itch again. It doesn’t appear this was as spur of the moment as the announcement might seem. The receiver also told Anderson he’s been working out pretty hard in order to get his body back into playing shape.
Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk points out that — if Harvin can show he really is back in playing shape — there are some NFL teams likely to give him a shot. Smith said the key is going to be for him to show he hasn’t lost a step. That might be easier said than done, considering how long its been since he set foot on the field professionally and how his career came to an end the first time around.
Harvin was drafted out of the University of Florida in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings. After his first three years, he looked like he could grow into a star, having caught 60, 71, and 87 passes each year, respectively. However, injuries and migraines soon began taking their toll, severely limiting his playing time. He only appeared in all 16 games in 2011 and he played in as many as 13 games only once after that year.
Breaking: Former 1st-rounder, FA WR Percy Harvin tells me: “I’m ready to return to the NFL. I thought I was done, but that itch came back. I’ve been training w/a former Olympian. My body is feeling good. Mentally I’m better. My family is good. The timing is right.” He's 185lbs. pic.twitter.com/NQaadbF73B
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 22, 2020
In 2012, he played in just nine games for the Vikings, though he still managed to make 62 catches. The next season, he moved to the Seahawks, where he played just one game. In 2014, he split time between the Seahawks and the Jets, catching 51 passes combined and finding the end-zone once.
Harvin’s final two years in the league were played with the Bills, though by that point he rarely saw the field. In those seasons, he played a total of seven games and caught just 22 passes.
Still, Harvin is continuing what has been an interesting trend this NFL offseason. Several players who have been away from the game for a few years are picking now to try a comeback. The Dallas Cowboys are giving linebacker Aldon Smith one more chance after he took nearly five years off. Rob Gronkowski also announced on Tuesday he was coming out of retirement in order to be traded to the Tampa Bay Buccanneers and be reunited with Tom Brady.