Should the Jets elect to retain Harvin, they would have to send the Seahawks their 2015 fourth-round draft pick. However, releasing him would reduce the compensation to just a sixth-round selection.
Cimini mentions that the Jets were smart to buy themselves some additional time to make this call, as they will have plenty of time to gauge the free agent market. On top of that, they have a few weeks to try and convince Harvin to restructure his current agreement.
Cimini points out that the Jets could hold out until March 18 before making their decision, which would force Harvin to miss out on the first week or so of free agency.
The decision is still likely to come down to whether or not the Jets are comfortable parting with a fourth-round pick and paying Harvin a decent salary next year.
According to Cimini, the Jets won’t be able to cut Harvin and then re-sign him to a new contract a few days later, as this would still require them send the Seahawks their fourth-round pick.
Harvin, 26, still has another four years remaining on his six-year, $67 million contract that included $25.5 million guaranteed.
It’s worth mentioning that Harvin’s contract includes no guarantees in the coming years, and the Jets wouldn’t incur any salary cap ramifications by releasing him.
In 2014, Harvin has caught 51 passes for 483 yards receiving while contributing another 202 yards on 33 carries (6.1 YPC) and two total touchdowns over the course of 13 games.
Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 34 receiver out of 110 qualifying players.