By Brady Henderson
Armed with a bevy of draft picks and a desire to give young quarterback Russell Wilson more weapons, the Seahawks are reportedly set to add one of the NFL’s top playmakers.
The Seahawks have reached an agreement to acquire versatile wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Vikings in exchange for a package of draft picks that includes Seattle’s first-round selection in 2013, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports. The deal, according to Glazer, is pending a physical. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports Harvin is on his way to Seattle to take one.
According to Glazer, the Seahawks are giving up the 25th overall pick and a seventh-rounder this year along with a mid-round pick in 2014. Multiple reports say the 2014 pick is a third-rounder. The Seahawks have 10 selections this year, the second-most in the NFL behind San Francisco.
The trade cannot become official until the new league begins Tuesday afternoon.
Percy Harvin was in the MVP discussion in 2012 before an ankle injury ended his season prematurely. He finished the year with 62 catches for 677 yards and three touchdowns in nine games. (AP)
Rapoport and Schefter are both reporting that Harvin, disgruntled over his contract situation with the Vikings, is working on a long-term deal with the Seahawks. Schefter told “Brock and Salk” that a new deal should be finalized within the next 48 hours. Harvin, 24, had a year remaining on the five-year rookie deal he signed when the Vikings drafted him 22nd overall in 2009.
“He’s a fantastic player,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters before Seattle’s Week 9 game against the Vikings. “He was really arguably the best player in America coming out of school. So the fact that he’s playing with all the top guys and his numbers are on top of the league, that’s fitting.”
Harvin gives the Seahawks a Swiss Army Knife of a weapon. The Vikings found multiple ways to get the ball in his hands, whether it was handing off to him in the backfield or throwing him short passes near the line of scrimmage and letting him use his elusiveness to rack up yards after the catch.
“He’s a running back at times in their system,” Carroll said. “They know that he’s great athlete and a great player and [that he] can produce, and they’ve figured out ways to get him the football.”
Harvin was the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year in 2009. His best season came in 2011, when he caught 87 passes for 967 yards and six touchdowns. He also carried 52 times for 345 yards and two scores that season.
While he’s been a dynamic playmaker, Harvin comes with a history of injuries and erratic behavior.
He missed time during his first two seasons due to chronic migraines, something he’s dealt with since childhood. He had shoulder surgery last offseason and has also been slowed by ankle injuries, including one he sustained against the Seahawks last November. He had been in the MVP discussion before severely spraining his ankle in the third quarter against Seattle. He returned to the game but missed the next three before the Vikings placed him on season-ending injured reserve.
Harvin finished the year with 62 catches for 677 yards and three touchdowns in nine games. He played in 16 games the previous year and missed three games over his first two seasons.
Television cameras showed Harvin engaged in a heated exchange with coach Leslie Frazier during that game against the Seahawks. That fed the perception that Harvin’s relationship with the Vikings was deteriorating, the chief issues believed to be his role in the offense and his unhappiness over a lingering contract dispute.
Harvin had bolted from the team’s mandatory minicamp last June in frustration before returning a day later. A report from the Star Tribune in Minnesota over the weekend said Harvin “has told the Vikings that he doesn’t want to play for them and wants to be traded.”
It seems he has his wish. In Seattle, Harvin will reunite with Darrell Bevell, his offensive coordinator during his first two seasons in Minnesota. Fellow wide receiver Sidney Rice was also a teammate with the Vikings.
Harvin’s addition raises questions about kick returner Leon Washington’s future in Seattle. Harvin has returned kicks for the Vikings, averaging nearly 36 yards per attempt with a touchdown last season. The lucrative deal he’s expected to sign could force the Seahawks to make subtractions elsewhere. Washington, a Pro Bowler in 2012, has a $2,875,000 cap figure in 2013.