Jets QB Geno Smith hoping for a Percy Harvin return

Geno Smith acknowledged Saturday this a "very, very vital offseason" for his career, which is now in the control of a new regime. The New York Jets' quarterback said he's eager to get back to work, and he'd like wide receiver Percy Harvin to be there when he returns.

"I would love for Percy to come back," Smith told reporters at a Manhattan restaurant, which is hosting the annual "Jet House" event over Super Bowl weekend. "Obviously, I can't make that decision, but in my short time with him, he's been a great teammate. He's obviously a dynamic player and I'd love to see what he can do in this new offense."

Harvin's future is one of the top items on Mike Maccagnan's agenda.

The multi-purpose player, acquired in a trade last October with the Seattle Seahawks, is under contract through 2018. But his 2015 salary is a hefty $10.5 million -- non-guaranteed. The Jets can cut Harvin with no salary-cap ramifications. That would be the prudent decision because, if they decide to keep him, the draft-pick compensation goes from a sixth-round pick to a fourth-round choice. It's hard to imagine Maccangan ponying up a fourth-rounder for a receiver who had only 29 catches and one touchdown in eight games.

Some of the decision could be based on the Jets' offensive scheme. New coordinator Chan Gailey ran a spread offense in his most recent job (Buffalo Bills, 2010 to 2012), so many are assuming he'll install the same system with the Jets. If that's the case, Smith believes it could help him improve because of his background with the scheme. He played in a spread at West Virginia.

"I think the familiarity of it will help, but I don't know what the ins and outs of his offense (are)," said Smith, speaking publicly for the first time since Maccagan and Todd Bowles were hired to replace John Idzik and Rex Ryan, respectively.

Smith has yet to speak to Gailey, but he already has started researching the spread, just in case it becomes a big part of the Jets' package. By rule, player-coach contact is limited at this stage of the offseason. He has yet to receive a playbook. Smith has talked to Bowles by phone, a get-acquainted chat. Bowles has reached out to many players.

Publicly, Bowles hasn't spelled out his plans at quarterback, remaining non-committal on Smith. He's only 11-18 as a starter, so no one was expecting a "Geno-is-my-guy" statement from the new coach. Smith said he hasn't received any assurances.

"We haven't even gotten that far," he said. "It's early in the stages. I'm pretty sure a lot of decisions will be made, coming in the near future."

Smith showed encouraging signs at the end of the season, finishing with a 97 passer rating over the final five games, but his inconsistency probably will result in a re-stocked depth chart by training camp. Look for the Jets to add a veteran and, quite possibly, a rookie. Asked how he'd feel if they drafted Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston, Smith said, "It's more competition. No matter who it is, there's always going to be competition."