Percy Harvin: The NFL superstar that never was

After just one season in the NFL, wide receiver Percy Harvin had already accumulated more highlights as a professional football player than most of those who came before him. Recognized as the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2009, Harvin’s future in the league looked brighter than a 13-year-old going to Harvard.

After playing college football at the University of Florida, the wide receiver was expected to be one of the first players selected in the 2009 NFL Draft. But a failed drug test at that year’s Scouting Combine caused him to slip all the way to the Minnesota Vikings who had the draft’s 22nd overall selection in 2009.

This year’s draft class is looking pretty good:

For the Vikings (who also selected a troubled receiver back in 1998 by the name of Randy Moss), the risk they decided to take on Harvin seemed like it was going to reap them years of rewards after his highlight-filled rookie season.

During his first few years in the NFL, Harvin was one of the league's most exciting players. (Photo Source: Twitter)
During his first few years in the NFL, Harvin was one of the league’s most exciting players. (Photo Source: Twitter)

During his first three years in Minnesota, the wide receiver scored a total of 24 touchdowns as a pass catcher, an elusive rusher, and a speedy kick returner. Harvin quickly turned into the team’s top option on offense and he was not even 24 years old yet.

However, the Vikings only won a total of nine games during the receiver’s second and third seasons and frustration with the team’s lack of success was starting to build with Harvin. The receiver even requested a trade out of Minnesota during the team’s minicamp in June of 2012.

“I just put it this way, there’s a lot of different things that have to be sorted out. Just haven’t been really happy lately.”

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver

Despite his frustrations, the Vikings kept the receiver on the roster and it proved to be a very good decision. Harvin exploded out of the gate in 2012 and was even an early candidate for that season’s MVP.

But an ankle injury cut his year short after just nine games and his season would later be remembered as the year he argued on national television with then Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier.

Harvin got his wish to get out of Minnesota, but his time with the Seahawks was short-lived. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Harvin got his wish to get out of Minnesota, but his time with the Seahawks was short-lived. (Photo Source: Twitter)

A few weeks after the 2012 season, Harvin’s wish to leave the Vikings was granted as the team traded the receiver to the Seattle Seahawks for three draft selections, including a first-round pick in 2013.

Nagging injuries only allowed Harvin to appear in a total of three games in 2013 with the Seahawks, but he did play long enough to return a kickoff for a touchdown in that year’s Super Bowl.

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The receiver was hoping to prove his worth to Seattle in 2014, but the Seahawks quickly became fed up with Harvin and sent him packing to the New York Jets just five games into the season. He played decently for the Jets that year, but New York decided to part ways with the pass catcher during the 2015 offseason.

Harvin followed his head coach Rex Ryan from New York to Buffalo in 2015 and signed a three-year deal with the Bills.

Harvin's last chance for success did not turn out as well as he hoped with the Bills. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Harvin’s last chance for success did not turn out as well as he hoped with the Bills. (Photo Source: Twitter)

His time in Buffalo closely resembled his time with the Seahawks and he even had a little fake retirement after the 2015 season before re-signing with the Bills again in 2016. In total, Harvin appeared in just seven games while in Buffalo.

Recently, news surfaced that the receiver has retired from football for good this time according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Despite not even being 30 years old yet, the once-promising NFL career of Percy Harvin seems to be over. Luckily for him, this thing called YouTube exists and people can actually watch his exciting career highlights without having to deal with all of his annoying off-the-field controversies.

Percy Harvin could have been a decent player-coach, just like this players…