Around the NFL  

 

How Percy Harvin trade changed the Seahawks' season

Print

PHOENIX -- There's a way that one could examine the Percy Harvin trade fallout and incorrectly label Pete Carroll and John Schneider as experts in roster macroeconomics.

There was always a chance that dealing a polarizing player -- one with close friends and established enemies -- would cause emotional and schematic damage. There was always a chance it would catalyze a team marred in a Super Bowl slump. But was there any way the head coach or general manager could be sure?

"It's very difficult," Schneider said on Tuesday. "You're talking about a person's livelihood. We have to do what's best for the organization, first and foremost. We had the support of our owner, which was huge. We had discussed it for a long time with our owner. For one reason or another, it didn't work out so we had to be able to move forward. So, the Jets got real interested."

The Seahawks have been lucky that way. The defending Super Bowl champions have weathered the violent ebbs that often shake up a repeat attempt before it gets started. It is a team full of emotional, outspoken and brutally honest players, a mix that can complicate matters. But Carroll and Schneider saw that fire as an asset.

Waiting beyond the glow often cast on Harvin and his sporadic greatness were a pair of perennially underrated, underappreciated and under-covered wide receivers waiting to place a stranglehold on a far more balanced Seahawks offense.

If nothing else, Carroll and Schneider had Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse.

"I think we got the negativity and the disrespect in a different way," Baldwin said Tuesday. "Saying we miss Percy or we miss Golden (Tate) or the no-names who are out here at receiver. We enjoy that. It adds some motivation. It adds some flare to it. We embrace it. I have a shirt underneath my sweatshirt that says, Pedestrians With Attitude. We enjoy the label because we embrace it."

The Pedestrians With Attitude were both undrafted. They were both looked at as complementary pieces in an offense that ran through a once-in-a-decade quarterback and cement truck running back.

They were essentially the counterbalance to everything Harvin had ever stood for.

Few mentioned -- or cared -- that Baldwin was one of the 10 most reliable receivers in football this season, catching nearly 75 percent of the catchable passes thrown in his direction. Few noticed that Kearse was once perceived as a special teams bonus player who needed to block kicks to stay on the roster. So it goes.

Baldwin succeeded in speaking out about the perceived injustices several times this season. He has grown comfortable in voicing his opinion, which goes a short way to exposing the Pedestrians to the broader audience they deserve.

On Tuesday, he was asked to examine the Harvin situation as so many have done and so many will do later this week. The casual answer reflected his true opinion. Seattle was never worse off without him.

"Not much different," Baldwin said. "We go about our business as usual. Obviously when you have a teammate that gets traded it impacts you in some way, but all of us knew we had something bigger to worry about."

Here's what he won't say, though: The trade was a catalyst in the way it allowed Baldwin and Kearse to shine within their offense. The Seahawks very well could have survived without Harvin all along. Baldwin and Kearse don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon.

"You can see Doug Baldwin with a chip on his shoulder and Jermaine and how he is and how he persevered through our game last week, or a few weeks ago, and made a big play for us," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "Those are our kind of guys."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to Super Bowl Media Day and breaks down the storylines nobody is talking about. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

Print

Fan Discussion