Before trading a trio of picks, including a 2013 first-round choice, and handing over a $67 million contract -- with $25 million guaranteed -- the Seattle Seahawks wanted to make sure Percy Harvin was ready to grow up.
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Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider wanted to see Harvin's face when peppering him with difficult questions to get a read on whether he was ready to leave some of the immature actions of his past behind him.
An in-person meeting wasn't possible, so they talked over Skype. (We are picturing Carroll as Owen Wilson and Schneider as Vince Vaughn in that overplayed scene from "The Internship".)
After the talk, the Seahawks' braintrust was convinced a clean slate would unleash Harvin's potential without the baggage.
"He was very clear with what his intentions were and what had gone on there," Carroll told USA Today Sports. "Knowing that he's a great competitor and that he loves to play and the game is really important to him -- I was just trying to sense that, make sure that's still there, and that it was as we had hoped, you know? It was like it was a no-brainer. It was no challenge to figure that out. It came across loud and clear."
Part of Harvin's problems with the Minnesota Vikings was his reported distaste for quarterback Christian Ponder. The Seahawks wanted to make sure Harvin would fall in line behind Russell Wilson.
"He was really into Russell," Schneider said. "Around that time, Russell was organizing a bunch of guys to go to California to work out together, and that kind of blew (Harvin's) mind. He thought that was really cool and was really excited about it."
Despite the reported sour relationship, Harvin told USA Today he could have continued playing for Vikings coach Leslie Frazier had he not been traded. Harvin said he and Frazier have talked since the trade and exchanged text messages within the last month about Harvin's impending fatherhood.
As the Seahawks prepare for mandatory minicamp Tuesday, Harvin said his ankle injury was completely healed and he is looking forward to progressing in his new offense.
Everything is sounding rosy for Harvin in his new home, but it's still early in the process. Harvin always has been great when things are going well. If he struggles early to create chemistry with Wilson then we'll see if he really has changed or if it's just a different day.