After pulling a mid-season trade Friday in sending wide receiver Percy Harvin to the New York Jets, are the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks sleepless in Seattle?
Harvin, whom the Seahawks sent a first, third and seventh-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings in 2013 and signing him to a six-year $63 million deal, Seattle traded the enigmatic—yet talented—Harvin for a 2015 conditional pick reportedly as high as a second and as low as a fourth.
Head-scratching? Yes. Shocking? Absolutely. Smart? Maybe.
With reports coming out that Harvin was having a hard time fitting into Seattle’s run-based offense and being a cancer on the locker room, one can look at the Harvin deal as good business with the Seahawks cutting their losses and moving forward with talented rookie wideout Paul Richardson and veterans such as Ricardo Lockette, Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin.
They may not have the “big name” of Harvin, but in looking at Seattle’s successful football blueprint, Harvin’s “name” never lived up to it’s billing, nor the amount of digits in his contract.
In a effort to look at this from a logical and objective point of view, consider that all of Seattle’s wide outs—with the exception of Richardson and the now-departed Harvin—were undrafted.
With Kearse, Baldwin and Lockette all being undrafted, Seattle has shown that you can succeed at the wide receiver position in finding talent in rookie free agents, instead of reaching and taking a chance on a high day-one prospect.
For all of his talent, Harvin proved to be more trouble than he was worth.
Whether it was from injuries or a need to be “the guy” in the Emerald City, Seattle decided to be bold and undersell Harvin and gamble on the prospect of getting a quality return.
With Harvin gone, this also frees up money for the Seahawks to sign Russell Wilson long-term and build thru the draft and free agency. On the downside, Seattle will feel the loss of Harvin on offense, as teams will now crowd the box to stop Marshawn Lynch and dare Wilson to beat them by himself.
The biggest aspect that Harvin offered was that—when healthy—his presence forced teams to play off the line of scrimmage and account for him at all times on the field at running back, wideout and special teams.
Now with that dynamic element gone, Seattle must find another way to be creative on offense.
Now in New York, Harvin better realize that his lock-room antics will become Page Six fodder faster than he can say “fugetaboutit!” as the New York-area press never sleeps and will scrutinize his every move, play and action in a less-forgiving manner than those in Seattle and Minnesota.
Perhaps, if Harvin can play his cards right, his brief stay in Gotham could be extended, as he will be stepping into a situation where he can quickly emerge to help a struggling second-year quarterback in Geno Smith and form a potentially dynamic 1-2 wide out tandem with Eric Decker.
Whether he chooses to take advantage of this new opportunity is up to him, Harvin being dealt sends a big red flag to other teams when a former first-rounder—and newly-minted Super Bowl champion—is suddenly shipped to his third team in 18 months.
Perhaps current Jets general manager—and former Seahawks GM—John Idzik knows something about Harvin that others don’t, but with his current job status in New York uncertain, he’d better pray that Harvin pays dividends immediately.
While some may think that the Seahawks are sleepless—or clueless—in trading Harvin, the Jets did not gain anything—except a possible upgrade on offense—in addition to Harvin’s hefty annual $10.7 million salary thru 2018.
From this writer’s point of view, New York was more desperate for a spark, than Seattle was in getting rid of him.
While the Harvin-to-Jets deal does not quite scream highway robbery, neither the Jets or Seahawks definitely won or lost in this trade, thus making it a wash.
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