The Seahawks and Jets just rocked the football world with the rare in season trade as the Jets have just received Percy Harvin for a conditional pick.
It seems like a strange move considering the Seahawks gave up a first, third and seventh rounder for him and they’re a team that highly values their draft picks, along with the fact that he’s one of the most explosive playmakers in football, but it also makes complete sense when you look at some of the numbers along with how the Seahawks are constructed.
According to ESPN’s fantasy department, “Harvin only played 59.5 percent of Seattle’s snaps this year — nearly 30 percent less than both Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse — and Harvin doesn’t have the blocking skills a run-heavy offense like Seattle’s would ideally feature at receiver.” Considering that he’s also owed a non-guaranteed $41.5 million over the next four years, they must have decided that Paul Richardson was a better move for them financially.
I think the writing was on the wall when they drafted Richardson with a second round pick last May, he’s the same kind of explosive playmaker, but he’s playing on a four year, $4.7 million deal, while Harvin is in the middle of a five year $64.2 million deal and playing less than 60% of the team’s snaps. They must feel that Richardson is ready to step into that role sooner than expected.
The fact that Harvin is one of the most injury prone players in the league must have also factored into this decision, on both ends as he is apparently only worth a mid-round pick which I think is a reflection of his injury history. We can all agree that he’s one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL and while I know he hasn’t performed very well this year, if a player like Antonio Brown or Emmanuel Sanders was traded mid-season in this way, they’d command much higher than a mid-round pick.
While I do think that Harvin is a difficult player to deal with as a team because of how much time he misses, the Jets are well equipped to handle him missing time with Jeremy Kerley. I think it’s a great move for the Jets, when you can get one of the biggest playmakers in the NFL for a mid-round pick and you have the salary cap space to do it, it’s a great move for your team, I just wish it came before they sank to 1-6 on the season.
I think he’ll fit in well with what Rex Ryan does with his offense as well and what I like most about this move is the fact that after this season, they’ll know for sure if Geno Smith is the quarterback of the future. While I know the team hasn’t performed as well as an optimist would hope, they’ve got a lot of weapons around Geno Smith now.
Pretend this isn’t the New York Jets and all the negativity that creeps into your mind just at the sight of their name in text, think of their skill players right now. The running backs are Chris Ivory with the power, Chris Johnson with speed, Bilal Powell as the number three after rushing for 697 yards last season.
They’ve got Eric Decker on the outside finally healthy after a hamstring issue to start the season, a guy who had 2,352 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns in 2012 and 2013. Now, you’ve got Percy Harvin as your #2 guy which will open Decker up to more single coverage and freedom to make plays. I know we haven’t seen Harvin play 16 games since 2011, but at least he’s well rested, am I right?!?!?!
In 2011 though, Harvin was one of the best players in the league with 87 catches, 967 yards receiving, 345 rushing and 8 offensive touchdowns. In 2012, he played 9 games and had 62 catches for 677 yards and 3 TDs, which over 16 games would give him 110 catches for 1,203 yards.
There are some guys who are just too explosive for their own good almost, I’ve seen it at DeFranco’s Gym with guys like Michael Smith who was a 7th rounder in 2012 and a running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but just hasn’t been able to stay healthy during his time in the NFL. Harvin might be one of those guys, but with the right training and care, we could see him blossom in this new opportunity.
Let’s not forget that the Jets still have Jeremy Kerley who is a nice supplement to this offense, but shouldn’t be a focal point like he’s had to be at times this season. Falling back into a role more suited for him, we will see him benefit from this as well. Greg Salas and David Nelson are good role players in the 4th and 5th receiver spots, which is more suited for who they are as players right now.
At tight end, I think the Jets have a future All-Pro type player in Jace Amaro, I love what he did at Texas Tech and he fits exactly what the Jets needed going into the draft, so I’m very happy to see the hometown green team making some savvy moves after the mockery that the last few years have been. Jeff Cumberland is a very good second tight end, so there’s another guy that the Jets have put in a better place to succeed through good decisions.
One thing that I really like about the Seahawks is their open mindedness and ability to admit they made a mistake and rectify it. Considering the way the Seahawks manage their team, spending $64.2 million on an oft-injured, risky player like Harvin is outside of what they normally do, a mistake they already made with Sidney Rice. They saw an opportunity to rid themselves of a contract that wasn’t working out for them, you just don’t pay someone that kind of money to play 60% of your snaps. It’s not Harvin’s fault either, he just didn’t seem to be the right fit for that kind of money.
The Seahawks are the kind of team that sends a brochure to agents of undrafted free agents to show them how they let the best players play no matter where they’re drafted. Simply put, they might just be the most well managed team in all of football right now, so they just cut costs with a player who wasn’t fitting in well anyway.
I see some people questioning this move considering that the Seahawks gave up three picks for Harvin to get him, but they just became so much more flexible heading into the future and they won a Super Bowl last season. Sure, Richardson might not be Harvin, but they must have decided that he is a good enough substitute after a cost-benefit analysis. They won a Super Bowl with Harvin playing one regular season game and the Super Bowl, they must have decided that getting rid of this contract was the right move.
Overall, I rate this as a great trade for both sides and I’m excited to see how the Jets use him. Dear Rex Ryan, don’t Tebow us with this one, I can feel the excitement of Jets fans bursting through my social media networks, don’t break their hearts my good man!
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