Vikings fans became understandably upset earlier this year when they learned Percy Harvin had been traded to Seattle. Harvin was one of just a handful of exciting players on the Vikings’ relatively stale offense, and jettisoning him left the receiver cupboard almost completely bare.
Fans had good reason for concern, as Minnesota sports teams have historically landed on the wrong side of these superstar trades. Deals involving Kevin Garnett, Johan Santana, Randy Moss and, dare I say it, Herschel Walker have netted little return value and have caused a natural aversion to any big name trade.
Five months later, after news that Harvin will miss much of the season due to a hip injury, Vikings fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that we got the better end of the deal. While it’s certainly unwise to rejoice when one’s enemy stumbles (and that’s not the intention here), it is perfectly fine to acknowledge that Rick Spielman and company made the right decision by pulling the trigger on Harvin when they did.
Considering the headaches (literal and figurative) that endlessly followed Harvin, the amount of compensation Spielman extracted for him from the Seahawks was eye-popping. A first-round pick that turned into CB Xavier Rhodes and a 3rd-rounder in 2014 was a far better value than what, say, Miami was able to obtain from the Chicago in 2012 for Brandon Marshall – a much more established and dependable receiver.
That’s not to say that Percy won’t be missed. He was an exciting, multi-purpose player on a Vikings offense that has been struggling to find an identity in the wake of the Chilly-ball years. While the additions of Greg Jennings and Cordarelle Patterson, and the emergence of Jarius Wright are encouraging, these players will not be able to replicate what Harvin brought to the table.
But the bottom line is that Percy, due to his own actions, was not a part of the Vikings long-term plan. Both sides understood this fact, and the Vikings made the right decision by relieving themselves of him while much of the drama was still contained behind closed doors.
Enter Seattle, which has long been the dumping ground for Vikings cast-offs. The Seahawks have now officially inherited the Harvin whirlwind – which includes, but is not limited to, migraines, nagging injuries and attitude problems. For all of these privileges, they will be paying Percy more than $11 million this year, assuming he actually sees the field.
Further offseason revelations about Harvin’s character issues, which date back at least to his Florida days, add another level of murkiness to both his reputation and the old Urban Meyer regime under which he played (it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see how Tim Tebow fit in with that squad).
While it’s lamentable that Harvin’s fresh start in Seattle has been derailed before it began, it does feel good to finally be on the winning side of one these high profile trades.