The Buffalo Bills hinted on Monday that they would be aggressively trying to find help at wide receiver. As it turns out, it was a bit of foreshadowing to what would happen on Tuesday.
In a bit of a surprise move, the Bills have signed wide receiver Percy Harvin -- ending the player's retirement just eight weeks into his first season away from the game. Harvin spent the 2015 season in Buffalo, his seventh season in the league after spending time with Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and New York Jets.
The news was broken on Twitter by his agent:
My client Percy Harvin has come out of retirement to sign with the Buffalo Bills for the remainder of the season!
— Greg Barnett (@gbo74) November 1, 2016
WR Percy Harvin is signing with the #Bills for $1M over 8 games, including incentives. About $1.5M prorated in a 16-game season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 1, 2016
Harvin, 28, had 19 receptions in five appearances for the Bills in 2015, before being placed on Injured Reserve last November.
Joe B's Take
The Bills were clearly a bit pessimistic about the idea of trading for a wide receiver that could help them immediately, and by judging it from this move, in general with the free agent market.
Instead, the help shoulder the blow of being without Sammy Watkins, Greg Salas, Marquise Goodwin, and with Robert Woods still visibly feeling his foot injury, the Bills took a shot in the dark to try and convince Percy Harvin to come out of retirement -- and it worked.
I'll underscore this by saying we really don't have any idea where Harvin is with his conditioning, or how quickly he'll be able contribute in a significant role. However, there are many, many reasons to like the move.
And always being a big believer in Harvin's talents, I certainly love the move.
First, Harvin has always been an explosive player that can make a big impact on the game -- health permitting. He's an extremely talented receiver that specializes in getting yards after the catch, so that potential is there.
Second, and perhaps more important to all the other options that were out there, is that Harvin has a working knowledge of the Bills playbook, after having been a part of learning it for months on end in the buildup to the 2015 season. While yes, there is a different offensive coordinator in Buffalo from when he was last here, they are still working from the same playbook due to the in-season switch.
Third, it doesn't cost them anything in terms of a draft choice, and the overall compensation is low based on what the return might be on the investment.
The Bills are clearly desperate, having only Justin Hunter and Walt Powell as the fully healthy receivers on the active roster, while Woods (foot), Goodwin (concussion), and Brandon Tate (concussion) are all still dealing with issues of their own.
The Bills are taking a big cut at a fastball, and I commend them for it. If it doesn't work out, there really isn't much risk involved.
They needed to do something at the position, and this certainly qualifies as a 'big' move at this point in the season.
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