Seahawks Trade Percy Harvin to the Jets

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According to Jay Glazer the Seattle Seahawks have traded wide reciever Percy Harvin to the New York Jets for a mid round draft pick. In my opinion this is one of the rare actual “work out best for both sides” trades.

The Seahawks acquired Harvin via trade in 2013 from the Minnesota Vikings in what was a bit of a head scratcher. Seattle gave up their first round pick in 2013 and a mid round pick in 2014 for the rights to Harvin. Harvin had worn out his welcome in Minnesota due to his unhappiness with his contract following an injury filled season. The Seahawks would turn around and sign him to a $67 million, 6 year contract that contained $12.85 million per year in new money. The salary moved him, depending on how one valued it, into either the top 3 or top 5 at the position in salary despite never having a 1,000 yard season.

The Seahawks paid Harvin $14.5 million in 2013 to catch 1 pass for 17 yards in an injury filled regular season. Harvin would have two big runs and a kickoff return for a TD in the Super Bowl that year. Since the Jets played their game this week Harvin I believe will be paid by Seattle, leaving Seattle with a $4.5 million bill for 22 receptions for 133 yards. This will likely go down as one of the worst trades in NFL history.

Moving on from the contract and getting anything in return was good for the Seahawks. It seemed clear he did not fit in their offense and they had no idea if there was a way to utilize him. Seattle will now save $6.47 million in salary cap space and salary this year by trading him, money that can be rolled over to the 2015 season and used for the Wilson extension. Harvin will carry a $7.2 million dead money charge on the Seahawks 2015 salary cap, which represents another $5.7 million in freed up cap space, though it was likely they were releasing him next year anyway.

From the Jets perspective the team was devoid of talent and it was worth taking a risk on a player like Harvin. His ability in the short passing game should fit with what the Jets are currently running on offense and allow Eric Decker to see less help when he goes down the field.  In theory it can open up two layers of field if teams still have any fear of Harvin or he re-earns the fear of defensive coordinators.

The Jets had the lowest payroll in the NFL and one of the largest cap surpluses in the league. Harvin will eat up $6.47 million of the Jets cap room this year in what will amount to a half season audition to keep his contract. In 2015 Harvin will carry a $10.5 million salary and salary cap charge.  None of that money is guaranteed so if Harvin fails to perform the Jets can either release him or look to renegotiate the salary back down to a more reasonable price range that fits with his performance. Harvins total contract value over the next four seasons works out to $10.375 million per year so there are many ways to work within the contract to reduce the salary while keeping his value at a high level to keep any egos happy.

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For the Jets there is no risk here. He is not displacing anyone of importance on the team. He can be released at any time. The Jets cap space was projected to be so high that there was likely no way they could spend all of it so even if he stays at his full price it does not make a material impact in any plans moving forward. The Jets also are in a position where thy will need to spend money just to meet the salary minimums in the CBA so this gives them a chance to see a player in uniform before commiting that money to him, which is always a plus. I would assume that this does mean Jeremy Kerley will not be back with the Jets next season.

Harvin will get to be one of the rare players in the NFL that will be paid for two bye weeks. The Seahawks already had their bye week while the Jets is still upcoming.

I’ll update Harvin’s contract to reflect the trade later tonight or early tomorrow morning. But for now you can view is old contract here 

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  • Roger Dodger

    Why do the Seahawks carry dead money for him in ’15 if they traded him instead of cutting him?

    • McGeorge

      The signing bonus is normally pro-rated over the contract, but if a player is traded, it accelerates and all the remainder hits the next year.

  • ThatNewYorkJetsBlog

    If the Jets let Jeremy Kerley walk because they signed Percy Harvin, they are abject fools. Kerley has been one of the only bright spots on their consistently horrible offense. If they let him go they ought to go the whole nine yards and re-hire Rich Kotite as their head coach.

    • Im a big Kerley guy but hes been non-existent in the offense for weeks. For whatever reason Geno isnt looking his way or the plays are designed to go elsewhere. I think hell put up huge numbers elsewhere but at this point Id be surprised if he is here next season. Even if you look at those mid round picks they took at the position they seemed like guys to potentially take his role.

      • Jim

        His numbers would look better, if every time he scores a TD, it’s not called back by a timeout or o-line holding.

      • ThatNewYorkJetsBlog

        I think Kerley’s slump has more to do with Geno Smith’s inability to progress through his reads. That’s a reason to part with the QB, not the receivers. Greg Salas, Salaam Hakim, T.J. Graham – these are not starting quality players, or even viable backup quality. They are practice squad talent. None of them will ever be able to replace Jeremy Kerley, and Idzik is delusional if his 2015 game plan assumes that one of them or a mid-to-late round 2015 draft pick will rise up out of nowhere to Kerley’s level.

        The Jets have nothing to use that cap space on that would be better than Kerley. His stats haven’t been great (due to having bad QBs,) so he will be a bargain. It’d be another story if the Jets had a tight cap situation, but as it is, they will be struggling to find ways to spend money. They don’t have enough talent to re-sign, and there won’t be enough high-quality 26-28 year old talent available to use up all of the cap space they will have.

        Even if Decker, Harvin, and a 2015 rookie WR are all great, and Amaro is great- you still want to re-sign Kerley. Guys will get injured, you want to have game plan flexibility, and you want to have the potential to use him for a trade. That’s much more valuable than rolling an extra $4m – $5m (or whatever, I’m just making those numbers up) towards 2016. They will still end up with $10m+ extra space to roll forward, and that will be plenty.

        • buk

          Agreed on Kerley. He is what Idzik calls a good Jet whatever that means.
          We also need to bring back Harris at a reduced price and time to part ways with Pace with hopes some of young draft picks can fill his role.

  • Zinsch

    Dead money for Seahawks, because Jets won’t pay Harvin’s signing bonus. Also, Harvin actually get’s three bye weeks: 4, 7, and 11 (Jets already played in week 7, when Harvin was still in Seattle).

  • Brandon Clements

    I don’t understand this trade. If you could do it now, you probably could have done it before the season started. May have benefited both teams more to have done it then.

    • I dont think the trade could have been done before the season. Seattle was likely still hoping for the best plus his salary was so high no team was going to pay it. This was one of those deals where paying half his salary was needed to find a trade partner.

    • Ian Hardingham

      What a weird comment. Harvin was injured for the vast majority of last year and Seattle needed the new information from the first half of this season to realise that he wasn’t going to fit.

      Yes, it would have benefited both teams more if this had happened in the offseason, but only with hindsight do we know that.

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  • George Proteus

    $7M to an underperforming, injury prone player who has never broken 1000 receiving yards in a season in his career. That for a team that has to go 7-2 just to finish .500. And, what’s the excuse? The Jets are the NFL version of Brewster Millions. They have to spend all of this money and have nothing to show for it? That’s ridiculous. If you have to give up draft picks to ensure players come to your team to get significantly/ insanely overpaid (Harvin would get Hakeem Nicks money/ deal on the market) than the whole organization is just hot garbage.

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  • NW86

    What Seattle gave Harvin was ridiculous at the time and still is. To trade away the draft pick, for the right to ridiculously overpay an injury prone, locker room problem, made zero sense. Now, when he has finally managed to get healthy and produce a bit and they are on a run for another superbowl, they decide to trade him? It’s hard to question a team that obviously has been doing something right in the scouting/drafting department the past couple years, but some of their other personnel decisions are real head scratchers.

  • buk

    You can’t be in favor of the Harvin trade at 1 and 6 and not be critical of Idzik not trading for Desean Jackson or at least pursuing Revis in the offseason. The Eagles would have traded Jackson for a 7th rd pick since they eventually cut him. Jackson had years remaining on his contract around 10mil per year that were not guaranteed either. Woody Johnson’s comments on Jackson got him accused of tampering so i’m sure Idzik talked the owner out of pursuing a trade or going after him in free agency.
    Jackson has a clearly defined role as an offensive player and has been far more productive player than Harvin for McNabb,Vick and Foles. You can’t build winning franchises waiting to sign talented players with question marks to become available for favorable contracts. Vick and Chris Johnson signed very late in free agency so they could not have been Idzik’s first choices. Dimitri Patterson signed basically a one year deal only after the Jets lowballed DRC and Antonio Cromartie who you cut signed a 1yr 3.5mil with Arizona. Patterson went AWOL, Kellen Winslow suspended for PED violation and arrested for public indecency. Mike Goodson played one game for the Jets and was a no show this year after firearm violations.
    In 2yrs Idzik has signed only one impact player on either side of the ball through free agency with Decker and in NFL you don’t give up seasons. Jets could have signed Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, etc for entire season for the 7mil the Jets pay to Harvin when team is already 1 and 6. You can’t spend it now for a talented problem child and say there was no wise investments in free agency in the off season.

    • McGeorge

      The Jets had no chance of getting Emmanuel Sanders, unless they outspent Denver by a lot. He wanted to play with manning and get a super bowl, not stagnate on the jets.

      I would have been Ok with signing DeSean Jackson, though he seemed like a problem at the time. Since they did’t get him, I’ll take Harvin as a poor second choice.

      Golden Tate is having a great year, but I don’t think that could have been predicted at the end of last season. He wouldn’t have been a #1, which the Jets need. Signing Tate wouldn’t have been that helpful.

      • buk

        Tate was/is a very good player and would have been an excellent WR addition and punt returnee which jets. Julian Edelman a lesser version of Tate was also available for far less. These r productive players which jets need more of. Again, what was Idzik’s plan? If they felt that sour on Hill going into off season that u would cut him then u MUST sign another FA receiver when u did not draft a receiver with your 1st three picks.

        The fact that Nelson and Salas saw major playing time when they were in season pickups last year is a joke. Nelson is now cut and Idzik’s 4th rd wr pick is practice squad on another team. The Percy move and the timing of it validates majority of Jet fans concerns about how the off season was handled.

        • McGeorge

          I was hoping the Jets would get Edelman. But he probably wanted to stay where he was than come to the Jets. The Jets would have had to pay a premium, which they weren’t going to do.

          As for Idziks plan, I have no idea what it is, other than “build through the draft” which requires good talent evaluation, which the Jets have not demonstrated recently.

    • The move does solidify my opinion that the Jets are a team without a plan for most of the reasons you stated. The fact that they will spend over $6 million on Harvin does bring into question why they couldnt spend a few milion early in the season to try to save it.

      The one thing I would disagree on is Vick. I think Vick was always the Jets first choice, but the Jets were not Vicks first choice. I believe Vick wanted to play in Oakland this season where he would have started. When the Raiders traded for Schaub the dominos fell for Vick to the Jets. Vick pretty much immediately signed and Sanchez was promptly released.

      • buk

        You are right about Vick. Best case for jet fans is Idzik’s actions were from inexperience and not incompetence. As a head coach and coordinator Rex has proven he can coach talented players even if he deserves to be fired as jet head coach. We do not know if Idzik is a real GM so I’m glad the Harvin move is a sign he feels the pressure to win that always exists in ny.

        I disagree with Jason that Rex has not developed enough talent. The problem for the jets is we’ve never had enough talent. Sanchez,Golson,Hill,Holmes,Brad Smith,Devito, Kerry Rhodes,Bart Scott,Braylon Edwards,Shonn Greene,Keller,Cotchery Plaxico,Tebow, Mcknight are all high draft picks,players we traded for or significant free agent signings. Point is these players Rex had to win with who are out of league or not on active rosters once they left the jets. As for Revis and Cromartie, it was clearly not Rex’s choice to part ways with those players and replace them with what we have now. Jets did not have a single pro bowl player last year.

        I hope jets fans and the gm can acknowledge we have a talent problem not a coach problem. Last year again Patriots Rex put nobody back to punt return because we had no punt return. Cribbs was brought in mid season because we had no kick returnee. Idzik addresses problem by signing Ford and drafting Saunders who were both cut. Powell and Saunders had huge fumbles and neither understood when to fair catch a punt. That is how you lose close games in the NFL.

    • Jim

      Chris Johnson was signed within two weeks of being released. He signed late, because he was let go in April, wasn’t a true FA and I’m guessing Vick waited as long as he did in order to try to find a starting gig for more money.

      I would have liked to have seen Golden Tate (Sanders, not so much), but you’re not looking at it right, if you’re only viewing the per year basis. The Lions basically committed $13m for two years. The Jets committed less than half of that to Harvin. It’s about the cap flexibility, Idzik wants to move on, on a player if he wants to. That said, Tate has played well enough this year to certainly justify his contract.

      Like everyone else, I have no idea what their plan was at CB (though I’m not sad to see Cro go, I did like Verner, Munnerlyn and Thurmond), but it would have been pretty hard to predict that their top three guys (Milliner, Patterson, McDougle) heading into training camp would play a grand total of what, 3 games between them.

      • buk

        Thanks for reply. I think DRC slipping out their draft to the Giants was where it fell apart for Idzik in FA. Reports were Idzik tried to offer a longer term deal once the Giants rolled out red carpet. Clearly Idzik missed on DRC and eventually where CB market for FA were going.

        Subsequently Peterson and Sherman signed mega deals which make the DRC deal with Giants look more palatable. We can’t go into next season with Milliner and McDougle as starting corners so we’ll be out looking for a CB free agent again. Problem is best available will likely be a 32yr old Tramon Williams or Revis again who will want no less than 12mil per.

        We’ll also be forced to draft a player in secondary as well next year because I doubt Kyle Wilson will be resigned.

        • Jim

          For whatever reason, I was never enamored with DRC. A guy, who at age 28 was looking for his 4th NFL team. Not to say he’s worse than who Jets have currently, but I would not have been comfortable to have seen the Jets give him a two-year payout of $15m, on a 5 year deal at the time (and the Jets probably would have had to outspend the Giants to get him). I was fully expecting the Jets to draft a CB in Rd 1 however (Dennard, Fuller, or Varrett). Maybe the Jets loved Fuller and he just didn’t drop to them, who knows.

          I’d really like to see the Jets go after Chris Harris Jr next season, he will likely be the most sought-after CB on the market, I don’t think Denver is going to be able to afford him, with Julius Thomas, Demarius Thomas and Terrance Knighton, Orlando Franklin all free agents at the end of the year will probably be higher priorities and they’re likely locked into Talib for one more year.

          • buk

            I know DRC is hurt now but 28 is still young and he had been durable most of his career. Cro was making close to 8 to 9 mil before he was cut and his cousin would clearly have been an upgrade especially in Ryan’s system. I think we both agree that the Jets are going to have make a big FA CB splash next off season to solve a problem they did not address this year. Maybe it will be a soft CB market after so many huge FA CB and Safety signings and extensions this year.

  • Jim

    Jason, do you know if Harvin has his 2015 salary guaranteed at any specific point in the offseason? Or if the Jets can wait until after the draft or even training camp and cut him with no financial repercussions?

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