Somewhere in Seattle, Russell Wilson is sitting in his living the Seahawks film room clapping his hands in glee. Actually, he wouldn't be sitting, because he'd be too busy running around celebrating Seattle's trade for Percy Harvin. (It looks, roughly, like this.)
That's because in Harvin, Wilson finally got a true No. 1 weapon. Notice I didn't say "wideout" -- Harvin is more than that. He's a versatile, destructive playmaker who impacts the receiving game, the rushing game and the return game.
This is gonna prob be pretty crazy on madden.Roster update anyone @donny_moore— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) March 11, 2013
It's not all perfect. Harvin's been a ticking time bomb his first few years in the league, causing as many headaches for his coaches in the locker room as he did for defenders on the field. He could be an issue in Seattle.
But reports indicate he's going to get a new contract from the Seahawks -- or, at least, that the deal is contigent on a new contract for Harvin -- which should calm him down on that front. Provided it's not Calvin Johnson money, it should be a relatively nice price for the Seahawks; Harvin will turn just 25 in May.
And the Seahawks are reportedly giving up a first-round pick to Minnesota for Harvin (along with a mid-round pick next year and a seventh in 2013). That's the No. 25 overall pick, and considering Harvin's off-field issues, his contract demands and his injury history, it's quite the price to pay. Additionally, it's an area where plenty of folks have slotted West Virginia Tavon Austin, a pretty decent comp for Harvin -- it's possible Seattle could've gotten a similar player for much less of a price.
Harvin is special, though. People have been down on him for a few months, but a lot of that is sort of a Favre factor thing going on; with all the talk about Harvin wanting a deal and all the rumors about where he could go, people just get worn down. These same people weren't complaining about Harvin when he was destroying the league and doing things like ... THIS:
Harvin played at an MVP level for an early portion of the year. And he's going to a place where he'll have some familiarity with the coaching staff.
Pete Carroll recruited Harvin like crazy when the all-purpose athlete was coming out of high school; USC is the only other place that Harvin visited besides Florida.
Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was in Minnesota for Harvin's first two seasons, in 2009 and 2010. During that time, Harvin averaged 66 catches for 829 yards and six touchdowns a season while playing in an average of 14 games. (He also managed 16 rushing attempts and 121 yards per year.)
Seattle has shown a propensity for maximizing other team's headaches as well: Lynch, who's become one of the best running backs in the NFL since coming to the Seahawks in a trade from the Bills, was averaging 61.4 yards per game rushing in Buffalo and has averaged 78.3 yards per game with the Seahawks. He had an off-field issue this offseason but managed to avoid missing any time.
The reality is that if Carroll, who's managed a few egos in his day, can keep Harvin happy, the Seahawks can threaten for the Super Bowl again in 2013 and are pretty close to being on equal footing with the 49ers.
Seattle utilized plenty of short-game passing options featuring Tate (and others) in 2013; those sort of passes will become laughably dangerous. How about that Pistol formation? Yeah, Harvin might have a little something to say about it being figured out quickly -- he was a destructive force in college coming out of the backfield. He'll bring an explosiveness to the read-option game that no one in football can match and that defenses will have trouble keying in on.
Or Seattle can plug him into the slot -- with Tate and Sidney Rice outside -- and give themselves options with sweeps. Move him to the outside and give him bubble screens and short passes that get him into space. Or send him deep if you want; Harvin has the speed to beat defenders but the Vikings didn't often try to go deep, at least not with Christian Ponder under center. Harvin can take the top off the defense, but his true strength isn't in streaking down the field, it's when he's best utilized as a chess piece who moves around the field and creates migraine-like matchups for opposing defenses.
The Seahawks understand they don't need to fit players into a scheme -- they just want the most talented players. Then they work around them to make their team as dangerous as possible.
And in Harvin they just got one of the most talented players in football. It wasn't cheap but the result could be an absolute home run.