|Percy Harvin (left) is one of the NFL's most explosive offensive players, while Anquan Boldin just won a Super Bowl.|
The league year hasn't officially started, and blockbuster moves are already being made. First, the Seattle Seahawks reached an agreement with the Minnesota Vikings that will send Percy Harvin to the Pacific Northwest. Not to be outdone by their divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers landed Anquan Boldin in a deal with the Baltimore Ravens. So who wins the day in this NFC West arms race?
Both teams benefit, but in vastly different waysThe two moves are hard to compare. Percy Harvin was a big, bold acquisition that will help determine the future of the Seahawks' offense. Seattle put a lot of resources (draft picks and money) into getting him.
Meanwhile, Anquan Boldin is just a one-year, low-risk maneuver. This is a better version of the Randy Moss signing. Boldin will turn 33 years old in October and is likely to spend just one season in San Francisco.
Boldin is a small veteran piece to the puzzle; Harvin should be a cornerstone for the Seahawks.
49ers gave up much less for a tough, reliable Super Bowl championA week before Super Bowl XLVII, up in the late Art Modell's office at Ravens headquarters, Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith separately said Anquan Boldin made them better receivers -- and tougher players. Boldin is an exceptional teammate who provides oft-understated veteran leadership while serving as an incredibly dependable target. There's a reason he was Joe Flacco's go-to pass catcher last postseason and why the usually reserved quarterback so publicly stated Boldin should stay firm in demanding his contract be honored.
The Seahawks will pick up a dynamic player, yes, but the 49ers give up a whole lot less to get maybe the toughest receiver in the league. While Boldin doesn't have Harvin's youth, he doesn't have his injury history, either.
Harvin gives Seahawks' offense scary potentialThere is a small part of me that believes John Harbaugh was forced by his parents to trade Anquan Boldin to his little brother after beating him in the Super Bowl.
I like the move for the 49ers, but the Seahawks win the day, no doubt. As great as Percy Harvin has been during his career, he might have found a perfect match in Russell Wilson, who throws one of the best deep balls in the NFL. Harvin adds an extra dimension to the Seahawks' offense, and it will trickle down to other guys like Marshawn Lynch, Golden Tate and Zach Miller. The Seahawks' offense was good last season; this makes the unit scary.
Seattle has eclipsed San Francisco as NFC West favoriteThe Seahawks win this one, easily. Anquan Boldin is still a solid receiver who had a turn-back-the-clock playoffs last season. He'll unquestionably help San Francisco as a terrific complementary wideout who will take pressure off Michael Crabtree. But will he have Percy Harvin's impact? Not remotely.
Harvin brings a dimension Seattle didn't have: He's a true No. 1 wide receiver who can put pressure on the defense. The Seahawks' offense didn't just get better, it got more explosive. (As did the club's special teams, for that matter.) And Harvin has a chip on his shoulder the size of Ragnar. He's out of a situation he hated in Minnesota, and out to show everyone -- at least in 2013 -- how good he really is.
At this point, Seattle has eclipsed San Francisco as NFC West favorite for 2013. Remember when this was the worst division in football, way back in 2010?
Harvin is exactly what Seattle needed on offenseI will give this one to Seattle. Percy Harvin is a legit game changer. He forces double coverage and is better than any receiver in the upcoming NFL draft. Also, Pete Carroll has a way with players who seem to have problems with other teams (see: Marshawn Lynch).
The Seahawks' main weakness on offense last season was their lack of a deep threat. This new vertical weapon puts opposing defenses in a bind. If you double cover Harvin, this opens up the option passing game. If you don't, Harvin will make big plays versus single coverage.