It’s debatable whether or not Percy Harvin was ever really gruntled in Minnesota, but right now he’s certainly disgruntled. His relationship with Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has crumbled, leaving rapidly declining hope for a contract extension with the receiver’s rookie deal set to expire at the end of next season. Nonetheless, the Vikings have repeatedly denied any intention to pursue a trade (like this: “we have no intent to trade him“), even as reports surfaced that Harvin has requested (demanded?) a move, and an exit from a toxic situation.
Now it appears the screeching sound you just heard was general manager Rick Spielman repeatedly running over every word he’s said recently regarding Harvin.
That’s the latest gospel according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who’s gospel-y words are treated as scripture in mid March. The Scheft reports that Spielman is very much in a shopping mood, and he’s openly discussing a Harvin trade with several teams. Right now the leading landing spot is Seattle, where the combined youth and athleticism of Harvin and Russell Wilson would create a being that could outrun a cheetah if it were possible to fuse the wideout and quarterback together. One day, such football technology will exist and I, for one, will welcome our cyborg athlete overlords.
A funny thing just happened. Specifically, this as I was typing the above sentences…
The Seahawks and Vikings have agreed to a trade that send Harvin to Seattle for draft picks, pending Harvin passing a physical
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 11, 2013
Oh Jay Glaze. You know how to cut to our core every time.
We’ll have to wait on the price tag, but if it’s anything less than several high picks — and quite possibly a first rounder in April — then this is an absolute steal for the Seahawks (UPDATE: Glazer says the Vikes get first and seventh rounders this year, in addition to a mid-round pick next year…so yeah, quite the haul). While Wilson was doing his dancing and jiving and generally making defenders look quite silly as a rookie, he lacked a definitive vertical threat. That title was intended for Sidney Rice, but he’s been hobbled over the past two seasons, missing six games. What resulted was a Seattle wide receiver corps in which the leading pass catcher had 50 receptions (Rice). Golden Tate was right behind him with 45, and then there’s a steep tumble to Doug Baldwin, the slot receiver who declined swiftly in his second season with 29 catches.
Here’s the best perspective on the immediate impact of this trade. Even though Harvin comes with some mild injury concerns of his own after he missed seven games this past season, during the games he did play the former Gator had 677 receiving yards on 62 catches and 85 targets. That comes at a pace of 75.2 yards per game, and six of the nine games when Harvin was on the field he had 80 yards or more. If we put that same receiving yardage on the 2012 Seahawks roster, Harvin would be behind Rice by only 71 yards, even though he missed nearly half the season.
That ain’t right. Now step into the Dreamatorium and let your mind wander to Harvin in a true read-option offense that further utilizes his skill in open space, especially on crossing routes. That’s a wonderful mental image, yes?
As always let’s discuss the fantasy implications, as they’re plentiful, and awesome. If Harvin can post the kind of yardage that led to 83 fantasy points in just nine games this past season with Christian Ponder as his quarterback, there’s just way too much fun to be had with this Wilson-Harvin tandem. Harvin still has the support of an elite running back in Marshawn Lynch, and while Rice may not be a No. 1 receiver, his vertical skill makes him a fine No. 2, and a pass catcher more than capable of clearing space up the middle where Harvin truly thrives.
The ideal environment for Harvin is one where he can become a punt returner immediately upon catching the ball, and have space to maneuver and create missed tackles. The components for that are in place in the Seahawks offense, particularly with Wilson’s imagination and ability to find areas of the field with his feet that only a few other quarterbacks can locate.
Some of us, though, are excited for much different reasons. Virtual reasons.
This is gonna prob be pretty crazy on madden.Roster update anyone @donny_moore
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) March 11, 2013
On the other side, Spielman needs to nail these picks. The first rounder in this deal (25th) is in a prime late-round spot to be used on one of the top receivers in this year’s talent pool (Cordarrelle Patterson? Robert Woods?). This is where I would usually write something about Adrian Peterson, and worry about his 2013 production given the lack of support from anyone not named Adrian Peterson. But then we remember that after Harvin went down, Peterson recorded 1,140 of his near record-breaking 2,097 rushing yards (an average of 190 per game without Harvin…yep).
But is it realistic for that kind of absurd production to continue without any respectable support whatsoever? Probably not, but coming nine yards short of the single-season rushing record with a recently repaired shredded knee and a sports hernia injury isn’t realistic either.
Peterson will be fine if he can still stay in one piece. It’s Ponder we now have to worry about after he regressed significantly without Harvin.