The Seahawks traded Percy Harvin to the Jets today for a conditional draft pick. This was a stunning move, since midseason trades are rare in the NFL — especially for a well-known, expensive player like Harvin.
Seattle traded their 2013 first round pick, a seventh-rounder and a 2014 third round choice to the Vikings for Harvin last March, then signed him to a five-year, $64,245,000 contract extension with $14.5 million guaranteed. With so many core members of the team looking at lucrative extensions in the future (Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas got theirs, Russell Wilson is still waiting), throwing so much money at an oft-injured receiver with a reputation for clashing with coaches seemed like a curious decision for a team that seemed to be doing fairly well before his arrival.
Harvin only played in one regular season game last season. He returned for the playoffs and suffered a concussion in Seattle’s win over the Saints, then the Seahawks’ trade finally paid dividends in the Super Bowl, where Harvin ran twice for 45 yards and returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
Harvin was active for all five games this season. He only has 133 yards receiving this year, but he’s the team’s third-leading rusher (behind Marshawn Lynch and Wilson) and was their primary kick returner. He caught three passes for zero yards (not a typo) in Sunday’s home loss to the Cowboys, a game which makes the timing of this trade seem fairly interesting. The team’s other starting wide receiver, Doug Baldwin, yelled at Wilson on the sidelines and vented afterward to the media about the offense’s inability to “(bleeping) move the ball.”
Now Baldwin (187 receiving yards) is the team’s No. 1 wideout, unless that honor goes to Jermaine Kearse (168 yards). The rest of the receiving corps isn’t exactly full of fantasy superstars: Ricardo Lockette, Bryan Walters, Paul Richardson, Kevin Norwood and someone named Phil Bates on the practice squad. Golden Tate has 495 yards receiving for the Lions — seven more than Harvin, Baldwin and Kearse combined.
(Note to Seattle: Jonathan Baldwin is available.)
Seahawks show bad teams how the good teams do it — once you know you’ve made a mistake, you move on. Period.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 17, 2014
I found this hilarious. Before we even know what pick the Seahawks will receive, people are rushing to congratulate them for taking steps to counteract the effects of a trade they never should’ve made in the first place. They’ll save some money with this deal, but it’s a net loss as far as draft picks were concerned, the Seahawks would’ve won a Super Bowl without Harvin, and their offense isn’t going to improve without him. That is, unless his very presence was so TOXIC that the team will benefit from his absence.