The initial reaction to the Seattle Seahawks trading Percy Harvin to the New York Jets was that of disbelief, listed as one of the greatest head scratches of this NFL season. But there’s usually some reasoning behind even the dumbest looking moves, and the Seahawks didn’t do this just because the need to shake things up.
Terry Blount of ESPN has reported that Harvin has become a destructive force in the locker room, and that Harvin has had two physical confrontations with players on the offensive side of the ball. There are also the injuries which have been a big part of Harvin’s career so far. He might be one of the fastest receivers in the league and someone who can help a team score from the return game, the backfield or in front of the scrimmage line, yet too many factors seemed to have been working against him.
The Seahawks send Harvin to a failing (1-6) New York Jets team, and will receive a conditional pick from the Jets in the 2015 draft, ranging from the second to fourth round. The Seahawks acquired Harvin in 2013 from the Minnesota Vikings, using a first and seventh round pick in 2013 and a third round pick in 2014. They also gave him a brand new contract worth $67 million over six years, $25.5 million of that guaranteed.
The Jets get the remainder of this season which is just over $7 million, but are off the hook after that if they want to let him go. Harvin’s contract runs through 2018, with $48.6 million on it. The Jets had $20.7 million under the cap before the trade, and have come under scrutiny for not spending enough money to put a good team on the field, which seems to fall in line with their record so far, as things got worse following a narrow loss to the New England Patriots.
Harvin wasn’t having the best of seasons. He hardly played last year, but left a very good impression in the Super Bowl with kickoff return touchdown for 87 yards and having two rushes for 45 yards. His explosiveness was rarely on show this season with only 22 receptions for 133 yards, 11 runs for 92 yards and a touchdown and 11 kickoff returns for 283 yards. Harvin not being able to develop into a deeper threat, catching just one pass on a ball thrown for over 10 yards, might have been part of the issue as well.
His current thigh injury would have probably kept him out of playing this weekend against the St. Louis Rams. His trade to the Jets is pending a medical, and considering his history of injuries since entering the league in 2009, it wouldn’t be that surprising to find out that there are some long term issues with the 26-year old. He might be the offensive piece that makes Geno Smith look good for once, but this could also turn out into a waste of money and time by the Jets, trying to make a desperate move to get something out of this season.