NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Percy Harvin says the New York Jets won’t be making him available to the media until later in the week, when he’s sure to face a whole new round of questions about his departure from Seattle.
Harvin spoke at length Monday, admitting to some missteps and frustrations that built up before the Seahawks dealt him to New York for a conditional draft pick on Friday.
He remained the hot topic Wednesday. Coach Rex Ryan and most players in the locker room had something to say about the star wideout, how he’s fitting in with Gang Green and his role in Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.
But Harvin, the subject himself, told reporters that he was instructed not to speak until Friday. According to Newsday, the team’s public relations chief then “made a beeline toward the crowd to ensure the order was followed.”
A number of reports have detailed Harvin’s falling out with the Seahawks since the trade. There have been accounts of Harvin getting physical with former teammates, which some say have been overblown. The 26-year-old denied another report that said he refused to re-enter in what ended up being his final game with the Super Bowl champs.
And now, this: On Wednesday, Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, citing an unnamed Seattle player, reported that Harvin had “increasing animosity” toward Russell Wilson and “was an accelerant” in a locker-room divide involving the quarterback.
Freeman, without further naming Harvin, said the feeling among the anti-Wilson crowd was that the star QB was too chummy with team brass, not quick enough to point the finger at himself, and “some of the black players think Wilson isn’t black enough.”
The Jets (1-6) have dealt with WR-QB rifts in the past, most notably between Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes, who were both cut loose in the offseason.
Harvin will be a much-needed target for Geno Smith, an embattled quarterback with nine games left to prove he can cut it in New York. The worry is that Harvin could turn on Smith if the connection doesn’t click. Backup quarterback Michael Vick doesn’t see that happening, telling the New York Post that Harvin “won’t be a monster here.”
“I think Percy Harvin … helps you evaluate the quarterback position,” Albert Breer of the NFL Network told WFAN’s Marc Malusis on Wednesday. “There is risk, though. And a big part of that risk is putting a guy who has been combustible in the past — in high school, at Florida, at Minnesota, at Seattle — putting him into the mix of a team that right now isn’t playing very well, and how that’s going to affect your younger players.”
“There is a chemistry element here that you’re messing with a little bit by putting him in there,” he added.