It is the rare win-win trade. The Seahawks badly needed a play-making receiver, Percy Harvin's time in Minneapolis was up, and the Vikings got significant value in return. Last month Seattle was mentioned as an ideal landing spot for Harvin, and now Russell Wilson has a dynamic playmaker to utilize in multiple ways. The Vikings got a first round pick, and a seventh rounder this year, plus a pick next year for a player that was no longer in their plans. If Harvin performs to his talent level and Minnesota drafts well, both teams should be pleased with the move.
Harvin is coming off career low numbers after playing in just nine games last year because of injuries. Two years ago he reached career highs in catches (87), receiving yards (967), rushing yards (345), and touchdowns (9). Harvin's career highlight may be his work with Tim Tebow at Florida. Urban Meyer used Harvin effectively as a runner, and pass catcher on a BCS Title Team as a freshman. In his sophomore year, after Tebow took over for Chris Leak, Harvin rushed for 764 yards and six touchdowns, while catching 59 passes for 858 yards and four scores.
With the Seahawks, Harvin joins a team with a flashy multi-threat quarterback in Wilson, and workhorse running back Marshawn Lynch. What Seattle lacked last season was a deep threat, and reliable pass catching options. Harvin not only fills both of those roles, but also makes Leon Washington expendable because of his ability to return kicks. Whenever Harvin signs his contract extension, subtract Washington's nearly three million dollar salary that the Seahawks will not need to pay whether they trade or release him.
For Minnesota, losing a 24 year old emerging star is never a good thing. However, it has been clear for some time that the marriage between Harvin and the Vikings needed to end. In a situation where the rest of the league knew he was available, to get three picks including a first rounder for him is pretty good.
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Brandon Marshall, more accomplished and equal pain in the rear end to Harvin, fetched two second round picks when dealt from Denver to Miami, and two thirds in the trade from the Dolphins to the Bears. Anquan Boldin, at age 29, was sent from Arizona to Baltimore for a third, fourth, and fifth round pick. During the 2008 season the Cowboys gave up a first, third, and sixth round pick to acquire Detroit's Roy Williams. Harvin is better than Williams, but that was an in-season panic move by Dallas. When the Vikings traded 28 year old Randy Moss to Oakland they received a first round pick, a seventh rounder, and linebacker Napoleon Harris.
While Moss was older than Harvin at the time of the trade, he also was a much better player. To get a similar package for a wideout who has never had a 1,000 yard season is significant. There is no question that Harvin's upside is supreme. For Seattle, perhaps one game changing player away from being in the Super Bowl, trading three picks makes sense. For Minnesota, getting fair value for a guy everybody knew had to go is good work by general manager Rick Spielman.