Percy Harvin is headed to Seattle, and with his arrival the balance of power has shifted from northern California to the Pacific Northwest. Or so the thinking goes. The biggest task facing Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is managing Harvin's off-field issues. After all, this is the same man who reportedly got into shouting matches with Vikings coaches, including Leslie Frazier, generally considered one of the nicest men in the NFL.
Something else Carroll will have to do: manage expectations. Not just regarding what Harvin can and can't do, but also what Harvin should expect from second-year quarterback Russell Wilson.
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It seems silly to even bring this up; Wilson was in the running for offensive rookie of the year and he had a lot to do with the Seahawks' playoff run. But Harvin has high expectations for his teammates, particularly those tasked with getting him the ball.
On Monday, hours after reports had the Vikings trading Harvin, Yahoo.com's Jason Cole explained why the organization had decided to move on from the former first-round pick.
"According to two sources, the straw that broke the Vikings' back with Harvin is when he bemoaned the fact that quarterback Christian Ponder, a 2011 first-round pick, was not good enough. That came even though Ponder consistently fed Harvin the ball."
This echoes what CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported in mid-February, and what CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote Monday in the aftermath of the trade:
"Harvin's trade requests have been based on the limitations of Minnesota's passing game and not his contract, according to the source, who has knowledge of the Vikings' thinking," La Canfora wrote at the time. "Harvin has not complained about his deal to the team and has never threatened to hold out based on his contract. Several reports have misrepresented the nature of Harvin's concerns and what he has conveyed to the team."
Days later, Ponder made it clear that he wanted Harvin back in Minnesota.
"During the offseason last year [we] spent some extra time together, and we had conversations, and he was great for me," Ponder said. "He was like, ‘If you're ever watching film, shoot me a text or call me and tell me I need to be watching this.' Yeah, we had a good relationship.”
Yes, we know: when discussing Christian Ponder's game, Russell Wilson isn't the first comparison that comes to mind. Or the second, third or even 20th. In that sense, the Seahawks have nothing to worry about with Harvin, right?
But don't forget: Wilson's rookie season wasn't all unicorn and rainbows. He had stretches of looking like, well, a rookie. It's reasonable to think that he'll continue the maturation process in Year 2, and it may come at the expense of finding Harvin every time Harvin thinks he should get the ball.
But Carroll has a knack for getting the most out of his players. If he can do the same with Harvin, the Seahawks -- almost certainly in the minds of some pundits -- could be the favorites to win the NFC West.