On the eve of free agency, the Seahawks opted to take their offense to another level via trade. The Seahawks acquired disgruntled wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a bevvy of draft picks. The Vikings are rumoured to be receiving Seattles 2013 1st rounder, an unspecified to this point mid rounder and their 6th rounder in the 2013 draft.
The move reunites Harvin with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who was part of the coaching staff that drafted him 22nd overall in 2009. If that weren’t enough he also gets to play alongside former teammate Sidney Rice, who came with Bevell to Seattle in the 2011 offseason.
This trade is being deemed by many as a win-win, and with good reason. Harvin has made it perfectly clear for the better part of nearly a calendar year that he wasn’t happy in Minnesota. Harvin was unhappy with his contract, along with the general direction of the team. It has also been rumoured that he doesn’t want to be catching passes from Christian Ponder. They got a great return for Harvin, and were able to remove a malcontent from the dressing room in the process.
For the Seahawks, who were widely considered to be contenders before this move, they have only solidified their status further. With the 25th overall pick they felt they weren’t going to find a better receiver, and overall it really isn’t a bad price to pay for Harvin. With their success in the middle rounds of recent drafts, they might even be more concerned about losing the unspecified pick.
Dealing from a position of weakness, the Vikings did about as well as they could. The Seahawks, having all options on the table, showed great initiative in pursuing Harvin and exceeded the expectations of many “12’s” with regards to what they were willing to add on offense.
Many are hailing this as the move that puts the Seahawks a cut above. That missing piece from their already diverse and at times undefendable offense. Were it not for the 49ers acquiring Anquan Boldin only hours later, you would be hard pressed to find an analyst that didn’t feel this move has made the NFC their conference for the taking.
With players like Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe (until he resigned in KC), Greg Jennings etc. all being discussed as possible additions, leave it to Seahawks GM John Schneider to go for the one receiver that to this point hasn’t been linked to Seattle.
That’s not to say he shouldn’t have been or isn’t the perfect fit. I can’t imagine an available receiver better suited for this offense. Harvin’s versatility and ability to line up anywhere, and I mean anywhere, will make him a perfect fit in the read option. Harvin plays his best football in the slot though and makes hay after the catch. After playing in only 9 games last season due to a season ending ankle injury - suffered against his new team - he still finished third in the league with 531 yards after the catch.
The addition of Harvin also bodes incredibly well for the future of Golden Tate with the Seahawks. Tate’s skill set doesn’t lend itself well to playing in the slot. If all goes to plan, and Harvin is lined up in the slot on most receiver heavy sets, he won’t have to. If the Seahawks were to add any of the big name receivers in free agency, it would almost certainly make life more difficult on Tate.
I can’t stress enough how good this move is for the Seahawks. Yes, it is a win-win, but only in the sense that the Vikings couldn’t have done better. For the Seahawks, they are ready to compete for a Super Bowl and they are ready now. Never thought I’d hear or say this, but the NFC West is shaping up to be the toughest division in all of football. All it needed was a little more star power at receiver and the Seahawks just added a lot.
You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV