Playing the Vikings used to get Percy Harvin fired up. But now it's just another game.
He smiled as he recalled the excitement he felt the first time he played the team that drafted him in 2009.
It was last season, Week 11. Harvin had just returned from injury with the Seahawks, and his first game back was against Minnesota -- just nine months after the Vikings traded him.
"At first, I was feeling like I've got to get these guys back and show them," Harvin said this week. "But when I got out there, I was just laughing with them. Every time I got tackled I was just smacking the guys on the head and they were laughing at me. I was just happy to be playing. So that's why I moved on from it and it was all good."
Harvin expects he'll feel those same vibes Sunday when he and the Jets (2-10) play the Vikings (5-7) at TCF Bank Stadium.
The versatile receiver was drafted 22nd overall and spent four seasons in Minnesota. He was named Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2009. But Harvin eventually realized the door would have to close on his tenure with the Vikings.
"Me and my agent, we had some things that we wanted to be clearer on," said Harvin, whose reputation as a malcontent followed him throughout his career. "Just as far as the direction or the philosophy in which they were going, without getting too much into it. We just wanted some more clear answers. And both of us decided to go in different directions from there."
The Vikings traded him to the Seahawks in March 2013 for first- and seventh-round picks in the 2013 draft and a third-round pick in 2014. But although he was accepting of the change of scenery, Harvin was saddened to leave teammates and close friends Jamarca Sanford, Jasper Brinkley, Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson.
"As far as the business side of football, I didn't understand it all the way but I kind of was getting a grasp of it," said Harvin, who has 19 catches for 182 yards and 17 carries for 96 yards in five games with the Jets. "And once I did, I was kind of able to move on pretty good."