Nick Fairley And Percy Harvin : A make-it-or Break it season
- Updated: March 22, 2015
This NFL offseason there has been as much player movement as ever before. Many are finding pastures greener on the other side of the fence, agreeing to deals with other teams. But along with the joy of a new job, there is also the buzz amongst the fans as to how those new pieces will be integrated into their new team’s system. But there are some players that did not get the deals they sought out. And for those players, they took “prove it” deals. These type of deals are one-year deals for a player that hopes to prove himself worthy of a multi-year deal in 2016. But there are calculated pluses and minuses to his deals. And as you all know, the level of risk is always bigger than most of us would think. No two players are taking a bigger risk at this than Percy Harvin and Nic Fairley. Both took the one-year deal and both will be looking to make sure they make this one year count for them. But in both cases, Fairley and Harvin are in different scenarios.
Percy Harvin is a talented football player. He can carry the football like a running back, run routes and play wide receiver and he can also return kicks and punts. He started last season in Seattle and then unexpectedly traded to the New York Jets around midseason. This offseason, the Jets released him and his huge contract in favor acquiring former Chicago Bears’ receiver Brandon Marshall via trade this offseason. But Percy was not out of work long. He and the Buffalo Bills agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $6 million. It was not the deal that Percy may have been looking for, but it’s better than sitting at home and not collecting a check to play. Percy is a tough cover for all defenses. But he is also known as being a player that can carry a bad attitude as well. While in Buffalo, it would be good for him to give peace a chance in the locker room. If he is able to be a good teammate this season, that could go a long way in changing his perception. Another issue with Percy has been injuries. Harvin did not play very much in his time with the Seahawks. In fact, in his first year with the team, he was constantly injured. Harvin has to stay on the field not only to produce, but to also everyone know that he is healthy and willing to be a good teammate. If he can prove these things and be productive on the field, then he could be in line for a huge payday again come 2016. If he isn’t and continues to be hurt and sports a bad attitude, then he will find himself struggling to make teams eventually. He will be 27 when the season starts and he is running out of time to get that next big deal. The time is now for Harvin.
In the case of Nick Fairley, he and Ndamukong Suh wrecked shop in the middle of the Lions’ defensive line. He did not have that many sacks (1.0), he was effective when he was on the field. But after his contract was up with the Lions, the team acted as if he was not needed anymore. And as a result, Fairley signed a one-year deal worth $5 million with the St. Louis Rams. Bad timing for Fairley struck him this past season. Fairley missed half of the games due to injury last season. Even though he has not really been a big sack guy, his numbers reached their lowest since his rookie year. With the Rams, Fairley has a chance to show that 2014 was not the real Nick Fairley at all. But in order for him to do this, he must stay healthy and shake the tag of always being out of shape. If he comes in ready to go, he should have a great season and have a good possibility to make the money up he lost out on this season. But if he does show up out of shape again, his career stands the chance of not recovering at all. And that would mean he would be out of the league and potentially a participant in a NFL Veteran Combine sometime soon. At 27, his career clock is ticking just like Harvin’s is as well.
Both Fairley and Harvin have had their share of issues. And both are looking to paint a new picture of themselves in 2015. Whether they will do so or not is something that will be watched this season. But the onus is on them as players. They chose to sign these deals and wanted to prove to everyone that they are worth the money. Now is their chance to do so. The time is now for both.