Who is Deonte Harty? Saints Wire dishes intel on new Bills WR

The Buffalo Bills have signed former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Deonte Harty.

The question at the top of the list: Who is Deonte Harty?

For more on Harty and his game, Bills Wire reached out to our friend John Sigler, editor of Saints Wire, to learn more about the new Bills receiver:

What is Harty's best trait as a playmaker?

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JS: Harty’s best skill as a returner may be his ability to track the ball in flight. He competes for more catches than you’d expect of a player his size. He’s also able to pull away from defensive backs and force some missed tackles with smart angles after the catch thanks to his speed and experience returning kicks.

Can Harty return to his All-Pro return man skills he had as a rookie?

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JS: There’s definitely some hesitance in his game that we didn’t see in the past, probably stemming from injuries. Harty seemed to signal a fair catch more often than we saw in his rookie year on punts. But he was injured last year trying to make a play in the return game, so it’s not like he doesn’t want to do it.

Was his past year just an unfortunate sequence of events?

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JS: Yeah, it was just messy from start to finish. He wanted a long-term deal during training camp but the team wasn’t willing to meet his price. He tried to put his best foot forward in a contract year and got hurt. Unfortunate is a really apt description.

Did Saints fans generally like him? Bills fans feel mixed

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JS: He was very popular with Saints fans, especially early on when he was winning All-Pro and Pro Bowl recognition as a returns specialist. Then he broke out in 2021 as Jameis Winston’s primary vertical target. Him changing his last name (from Harris) as a Christmas gift to his stepdad was a great story that endeared him to many fans. It’s a shame things soured for him last season.

Do you think Harty could improve going forward with Josh Allen as his QB?

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JS: If he’s healthy, and he should be, this could be a great move. Allen is an even better big-play threat than Winston, and we saw how successful Harty was in that role during the 2021 season. Limiting him to the slot might be a mistake, because we’ve seen him play well lining up outside, but he should be a nice complement to Stefon Diggs.

Story originally appeared on Bills Wire