In what has been an electrifying offseason, one acquisition that went slightly under recognized was that of Percy Harvin. After four successful years in Minnesota, Harvin was traded to Seattle before the beginning of the 2013 season. He played a critical role in Seattle's Super Bowl victory over Denver that year, but was traded halfway through this past season to the New York Jets. After New York released Harvin in early March, the 26-year-old receiver saw Buffalo as the ideal landing spot.
"It was just so perfect from so many aspects," said Harvin. "From playing with Sammy Watkins to having a dominant run game. I think me and Sammy can face a lot of single coverage with (Robert) Woods in there. There's just mismatches that are going to be all over the field. When I looked at the special teams unit, those guys were in the top five last year, so I look to plug in there and have a lot of success. It was a no brainer."
Harvin was also quick to recognize his general appreciation for Rex Ryan during their short time together in New York.
"He's just a players' coach," said Harvin. "He has no ego. You can go to him, his door is always open. He's going to be 100-percent with you. You may not like it, but it's going to be what he thinks is best for the team. He's always open to suggestions so you can go to him at any time, you can call him at any time and he just likes to come out here and have fun and win football games."
Once Harvin was traded to the Jets last season, he began playing on the outside rather than in the slot. The former first round pick doubled his yards per reception as a result of this change and developed into a true outside receiver. Sanjay Lal was Harvin's positional coach in New York and moved to Buffalo alongside Rex Ryan. Harvin reflected on the impact coach Lal has had on him and how it influenced his decision to come to Buffalo.
The 2015 Bills put in their first day of work at voluntary offseason conditioning.
"Going into the second or third game, I felt like I had been playing outside for years," said Harvin. "Working with him and him being able to get it through to me, the things I needed to work on, whether it was V-cuts or speed cuts or coming out of breaks—we just hit it off. His verbiage was right what I needed. That was all a part of my big decision to come here."
Rex Ryan, who was surprised when Harvin was released, credited the Bills organization for seizing the moment and signing a player of such high caliber.
"We are ready for everything," Ryan said. "When this opportunity presented itself we were surprised, but there was the opportunity that we had, and we made it happen. We just want to get the best team out there that we possibly can, and to have a guy like Percy Harvin join us is tremendous."
When asked about Harvin's ability, Rex Ryan pointed to an important trait that may have gone unrecognized in the past.
"The thing that I noticed is his work ethic on the field," said Ryan. "I'm not sure that is known about him as maybe it should be. You've got to protect this guy from himself because that's how hard he goes. He is extremely competitive and thats what I think people appreciate."
The former first round pick believes that Buffalo is the exact place where he can breakthrough.
"The best is yet to come," said Harvin. "The world has not seen my best ball yet."