The Seattle Seahawks made it clear on Friday that they aren't going to feel overly sentimental about a piece of hardware. They stunned the NFL world by giving up on the Harvin experiment after less than two seasons with the team, quickly cutting their losses on what they clearly felt was a mistake. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport confirmed that the New York Jets traded a conditional mid-round pick in exchange for Harvin. That's a far cry from the king's ransom Seahawks general manager John Schneider gave up for Harvin in March of 2013 when they gave up a first-, third- and seventh-round pick for him.
Schneider also handed Harvin $25.5 million guaranteed, including a $12 million signing bonus. His future salary averages over $10 million per season and is not guaranteed after this year. The Seahawks had likely made the decision Harvin was not part of their plans in 2015, so they decided to get something in exchange for him now and send a loud message to their roster that no player is bigger than the team. Every team makes personnel mistakes -- the smart teams recognize them quickly.
Rapoport reports that Harvin was not the easiest player to deal with in the locker room, and the Seahawks were in the market to deal him for "several weeks." The off-field issues are not a new story. The Vikings had numerous documented problems with Harvin during his four seasons there, including him badmouthing quarterback Christian Ponder. NFL Media's Albert Breer reports that Harvin's "anger management issues" followed him to Seattle, where according to two sources connected to the Seahawks, the receiver was involved in multiple physical altercations -- namely one with then-teammate Golden Tate before Super Bowl XLVIII.
Harvin's time in Seattle got off to a bad start when he injured his hip last July and underwent surgery that kept him out until the playoffs. Harvin's boffo Super Bowl performance, including his kick return touchdown, made the entire trade seem worth it. But Harvin struggled to make much of an impact this season.
Rapoport reports that Harvin was difficult for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to integrate into the Seahawks' offense. He's not your average receiver that runs the entire route tree and can get open on his own. Seattle had to scheme plays to get him the ball, and they were struggling to do so. Pete Carroll and Schneider run a tight program and Harvin apparently didn't get with it.
Harvin's numbers this season were grisly: He had 133 yards receiving and 92 yards rushing in five games. He's averaged 38 snaps per game, which is only 60 percent of the team's snaps. That's the production and the playing time of a role player. Harvin is getting paid like a superstar. The Seahawks' passing game does not have a ton of weapons, yet the team decided they were better off without him.
The trade is a lot simpler to understand from the Jets' side of things. They need talent, and they didn't have to give up much to get Harvin.
"The Jets do have $20 million in unused salary cap space that John Idzik, the general manager, has been saving for a rainy day. Of course, it's raining now in New York," Rapoport said on NFL Network's Around The NFL.