Despite GM Rick Spielman’s public statements about Percy Harvin’s future with the team, the receiver has been dealt to the Seahawks for a package of picks. The Vikings will receive 1st and 7th round picks in this year’s draft, as well as a middle-round pick in 2014.
Seattle’s offense was one of the NFL’s best by the end of last season, and despite their statistically unimpressive 27th ranked passing attack, Russell Wilson came into his own during the Seahawks’ winning streak. Seattle’s offense is based around Marshawn Lynch and the power running game, and the addition of Harvin will open up the field considerably.
The Seahawks currently sport the receiving tandem of Sidney Rice and Golden Tate, who are solid but not overly impressive. Rice is a big receiver who has soft hands and can get open, but he doesn’t force defenses to game-plan around him. Tate had a solid season but also struggled to consistently gain separation on a week-to-week basis. Now, defenses will be forced to prepare for one of the league’s elite ground attacks as well as get ready for arguably the NFL’s most elusive receiver.
Harvin’s responsibility in Minnesota was essentially to do everything that Adrian Peterson could not; he caught a lot of short passes and even took some handoffs around the edge. Harvin demonstrated that he can be devastatingly effective even when he doesn’t have much room to work with. In Seattle, it would make sense for Harvin to see more downfield looks. Despite his big numbers, Harvin did most of his work around the line of scrimmage because of the Vikings’ inability to get him the ball deep. Harvin’s biggest asset is his speed, and adds a dimension to the Seahawks’ offense that can potentially take them to the next level.
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Seattle was already a young and talented team, and this trade improves on both those notes. Harvin is somehow only 24 years old, and when complimented with 27-year-old Lynch and Rice, as well as 24 year-old Wilson, Seattle has just about the youngest group of stars on any NFL roster. An offense that was already among the league’s most feared just got a lot better with the addition of one player.
Harvin still must pass a physical and agree to a long-term contract for the trade to be official, but both of those conditions are expected to be fulfilled. The 49ers and every one of Seattle’s NFC opponents are surely grimacing at this news, and based on what the Seahawks looked like before they added the explosive Harvin, they are shaping up to be a Super Bowl favorite for next season.