City Sports Report

Percy Harvin Traded To The Jets: What It Means For The Seahawks, Jets And Percy Harvin

Percy Harvin meeting with the New York media for the first time(Picture courtesy of www.seattlepi.com)

Remember the excitement of Seahawks fans when Percy Harvin headed to Seattle via trade? Some would say they gave up too much for him (a first round pick in 2013 and 2014 along with a seventh round draft pick in the 2013 draft), but for Seattle it was the perfect scenario at the time. The team needed some explosion at wide receiver and in the return game and who else could bring that better than Harvin. It was a match made in heaven or so it seemed. The Seahawks won a title in his first year as a Seahawk and he made a huge kickoff return for a touchdown in the Super Bowl, but he also missed all but one game while going through an assortment of injuries. This year, it seemed as if the Seahawks were trying to force-feed him the football on quick plays like bubble screens and speed sweeps. For all they tried to do with him, he still only averaged about four yards per touch. That was a far cry from what the Seahawks expected from him. Then, all of a sudden, Harvin was shockingly on the move again. The Seahawks shipped Harvin to the New York Jets this past week for a conditional pick (could become as high as a fourth round pick for the Seahawks), sending shockwaves through the entire NFL. In one day he goes from one of the true contenders in the NFL to one of its more unstable teams. So, what does this mean for these two teams and for Harvin in the end?

The Seattle Seahawks were coming off a championship and many expected them to pick up where they left off. Last year, their offense began and ended with running back Marshawn Lynch. The physical running back set the tone for the entire offense with his physical runs. And from there, the team would take their cue. But heading into this year, it seemed they were trying to make room for Percy Harvin. The offense would get into a rhythm and then they would inexplicably run a speed sweep or a bubble screen to Harvin. And when that happened, it seemed the momentum and rhythm the Seahawks would gain ultimately would be thrown off. It seemed as if he just did not fit the style they had created. But not only was he not fitting in on the field, it seemed as if there were issues off the field too. Rumors began to circulate after the trade of issues within the locker room that he may have had with teammates. I don’t know if the issues he had in the locker room are true or not, but what I can say is that there was issues with him at Minnesota before he was traded to Seattle. So that makes two teams where issues were reported and that he was ultimately shipped out of. Again, I do not know whether there is truth to all the reports of issues he has had with teams, but when the same thing reportedly happens in two different places, there has to be some validity to it. In the end, Percy is now not a member of the Seattle Seahawks after what was an overhyped and underwhelming tenure there. It was a shock to most of the Seahawks team that it happened, but in the end it was understandable. Another great thing the move did for the Seahawks is create cap space for them to potentially pay linebackers Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright and the most important piece of their offense outside of Marshawn Lynch, quarterback Russell Wilson. It may not have been a popular move for the team to make, but the thinking is addition by subtraction. Unfortunately, this past Sunday they still looked like they were off a little in their loss to St. Louis. We shall see what happens with them offensively as they move forward. I expect them to go back to Marshawn Lynch as the focal point of this offense.

The Jets arrived this year with some raised expectations. They missed the playoffs last year and some thought that Rex Ryan would be fired as the head coach. To the shock of many, he remained head coach and the team also brought in some weapons offensively to help second-year quarterback Geno Smith continue to grow. In the 2013 season, the Jets had absolutely no weapons at wide receiver. This offseason, the Jets added former Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker to be their main wide receiver. Decker’s numbers have been considerably lower than they expected (24 receptions, 323 yards and 3 touchdowns) and it’s clear that he is not the type of threat that strikes fear in the hearts of opposing defenses. Running back Chris Johnson was another weapon that was added to bring some explosion to this offense. So far he has not done so and is fighting for carries with Chris Ivory, who has been better than Johnson this season. Needless to say, the Jets fooled everyone with the win in their first game. Since that game, the slide has begun, as they have now lost six straight and are floundering again in Gotham. They lack that explosion on offense and that has given us an incomplete view of what Geno is and what potential he may have as a young quarterback. With the acquisition of Percy Harvin, the Jets just got that much more exciting. Despite all the rumored issues with Percy in the locker room, Percy is still one of the most explosive players in the NFL. With just one touch, he can turn a game around. The task for Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is to get Harvin the ball 15-20 times a game. This will no doubt mean there will be less touches for running backs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory. But they are not winning with those two getting that many carries anyway, so changing the dynamic with Percy will be a good thing. Another change of pace will be the upgrade in the wide receiving corps. Besides Decker, there is not one receiver on the Jets that anyone recognizes. And honestly, Decker needs a speed receiver to help him out on the field. With the pressure that Harvin can put on opposing defenses, Decker should have a little bit more freedom to work the underneath routes. But ultimately, this trade gives Geno Smith the most talented weapon he has ever had. With a weapon like Harvin, it will be interesting to see what we find out in regards to Geno and the Jets going forward. At 1-6, they are a longshot to make the playoffs at this point. But you never know what can happen and one thing is for sure: this team looks more exciting. General Manager John Idzik is rolling the dice with Harvin (Percy has four years and $41.5 million left on his contract). But if it does not work out, he always has the choice of releasing him at the end of the season and not being hurt salary cap-wise.

For Percy it has been an interesting journey in the NFL. He was selected by the Vikings with the 22nd pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. Immediately, his speed was seen as a big weapon for the Vikings. He even was thought of in the MVP race in the first half of the 2012 season with the incredible things he was doing as a receiver and return man. But he eventually was shipped from Minnesota to Seattle in the 2013 offseason despite his impressive playmaking abilities. There were rumors of his frustration with coaches there and his inability to get along with them. In Seattle he barely played, but showed the flashes of his explosiveness when he was healthy enough to be out there. But again, the rumored issues with the team and some players on it derailed his tenure there. Now he heads to New York with the Jets and it’s his third team in three years. Despite his immense talent, he has not been able to stick somewhere for one reason or another. With him knowing the Jets are taking a chance on him, he has to realize that he is running out of chances. Although Percy is 26 and talented, there is only but so many times he will continue to get chances before his attitude is not worth his ability. This is his moment to change the perception of what people think he is. This is his time to step up and be the player most think he can be while being the teammate and team player that he needs to be. Harvin’s Litmus test has arrived in the form of his new team and his new set of responsibilities. The questions are now out there in regards to Percy. Can he make it happen or is he destined to be somewhere else next season still trying to make it happen and add to a team?

The Seahawks and Jets did what they felt they had to do, while Percy gets another fresh start in a new city. We shall see how each does with the new opportunity and new challenge that awaits them. It surely was a shocker of a trade that happened, but it will be even more interesting to see how all three sides react going forward.

For more sports conversations, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

3 Comments

  1. Lee Love

    October 22, 2014 at 1:48 am

    I agree with this article he has run out of chances and will more than likely be featured early on since the Jets aren’t having much success anywhere else. It will be up to Harvin to produce and not create any waves if he wants top stick in the NFL. He has a ton of talent but that will not keep him from getting cut again if he acts up.

  2. tophatal

    October 22, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Harvin has a fresh start ? So the Jets is where he best feels he can be accommodated ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    • Mike Patton

      October 28, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      He does not have control as to where he goes. He never said he felt he could feel accommodated there. But it is a change of scenery for him

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