Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Mar 2013

Seahawks Acquire Percy Harvin

Jay Glazer is reporting that the Seahawks will continue their long-term Vikings Wideout Acquisition Plan by obtaining Percy Harvin from the Vikings, pending a physical. Reportedly, the Vikings will get this year's first-round pick, this year's seventh-round pick, and a mid-round pick in 2014 for the receiver.

That reported return seems like a pretty big coup for the Vikings given Harvin's behind-the-scenes baggage, but it also undeniably makes the Seahawks a more frightening team.

Edit: Harvin will reportedly receive a six-year, $67 million contract, with $14.5 million in guaranteed money.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 11 Mar 2013

55 comments, Last at 16 Mar 2013, 10:19pm by RickG


by andrew :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 1:30pm

Nate Burleson, Sidney Rice now Starvin Harvin...

Why cant they go after the Michael Jenkins or Jerome Simpsons on the roster...

"I was corrupt before I had power!" - Random

by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 1:36pm

Apparently it's at least 1 first round pick. Seems steep for a guy with injury and personality concerns and with the Vikings having little leverage.

by Anonymous2 (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 1:56pm

It also makes the Vikings passing game more frightening, though not in a good way...

by theslothook :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 2:02pm

I'm not sure how well he fits in Seattle. I mean, he's a really good talent and I'm sure he'll be useful, but I would have feared him way more had he gone to a multiple formation offense like NE or NO.

by Peepshowmopguy (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 2:38pm

The Seahawks are a multi formation offense.

by theslothook :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 6:50pm

Are they? To me, they are a power fun deep pass type of offense - using concepts of read option and pistol. Sure, every team CAN run multiple formations but many do not.

I should clarify, to me, harvin is a short YAC type of receiver that is best on a team utilizing spread formations. I know he had a ton of receiving yards before he got hurt, but he was the only viable receiver on a team where the qb only threw short. Is that what he's going to in Seattle?

by Hardy (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:07pm

Maybe the Hawks wanted him BECAUSE they felt they were too one dimensional in their passing...

by jonnyblazin :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:23pm

I would think that R. Wilson's height would prevent the Seahawks from running a lot of short WCO-style passes. It would be very easy to bat those passes down (or up).

by Noah Arkadia :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 11:25pm

Brees runs a short-pass offense.

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by jonnyblazin :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 2:26pm

Hmm..., my impression of Brees is that he throws the ball all over the field.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 3:14pm

Peyton's system is a digit hybrid. He might check down to Bush/Sproles but the scheme is pretty vertical.

by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 3:53pm

To oversimplify things, Payton's Saints have thrown lots of very short passes and lots of very long passes, with fewer mid-range passes than most other teams.

by SnarfSnarfington (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 2:07pm

Why not go for Victor Cruz? Less picks involved, probably at a cheaper price. Cruz is a better WR by far as well.

Harvin probably wont be returning kicks any more with the contract he is going to get and those runs he gets are just a gimmick.

by Anonymoussssssssssssssss (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 2:14pm

Well, Cruz is restricted. So if it's a cheaper price, the Giants certianly would match.

by dryheat :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 2:59pm

Maybe. Vikings reportedly gave up a 1st and 7th this year and a 4th next. Cruz would cost a first (if the Giants declined to match), and his contract demands are less than Harvin's if media reports are even close to accurate. I'm willing to bet the Vikings are willing to pay more than the Giants are willing to match.

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 6:13pm

Harvin is also a dangerous kick returner, something Cruz does not do. This move will mean Leon Washington gets released.

by the cat in the box is dead (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 2:14pm



by the cat in the box is dead (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 2:30pm

Actually, just so that makes more sense, this is an absolute fleecing of the other team. I actually think Harvin's a pretty good player.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:05pm

A guy who misses a lot of games is not pretty good. Now, maybe that will change, but then again, maybe not.

by the cat in the box is dead (not verified) :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 4:57am

Fair point. How about 'talented' as a better choice of word? He's a player with ability, but the injury stuffing just makes it more of a head-scratcher.

I just look at that trade and think 'well done, vikings front office. Well done.'

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 3:04pm

I think Harvin is a good player and I'm annoyed the Seahawks got him but it probably wouldn't have cost much more to trade up for Marvin Austin, who runs more of the route tree, is less injury prone, will be much cheaper and is less of a troublemaker.

by Eddy (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 3:10pm

Tayvon austin is a rookie, who has durability concerns, runs the same 40 at 30lbs less.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 3:27pm

Austin: 4.34 @ 192 lbs
Harvin: 4.41 @ 174 lbs

So not the same and not 30 lbs less. The durability concerns are based on his size, not on him missing time, unlike Harvin who has missed plenty. He is similar in size to DeSean Jackson, who hasn't been that injury prone.

by Eddy (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 7:28pm

Desean jackson has shown himself vulnerable to physical play. You got the weights listed wrong (austin is 174 not 192), but I still think you are crazy to want someone who has never proven he can play in the NFL to someone who has proven to be pro bowl worthy. Also, I misremembered Percy harvin's 40 time.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 7:39pm

I did get the weights mixed up, my bad.

Obviously Austin isn't proven but I think he'll be pretty good and the gap in pay will be substantial. I was trying to point out an alternative path that Seattle could have taken to get a similar sort of player.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 4:05pm

It would be hard to have more durability concerns than Harvin. He's only played all 16 games once in four years, is coming of an ankle injury that ended his season, has migraines that have caused him to miss games, and has been banged up much of his career. He also has documented maturity issues from high school through the pros. He's on the last year of his contract. My guess is he has one great season, signs a big contract, and pulls a Cletidus.

by RoninX (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 4:51pm

I belive completion of the trade is contingent on Harvin signing an extension with the Hawks. I've seen a couple of people refer to this but details on that side haven't been released yet though. Speculation seems to be that it will end up in the 8-10mil/year range... which is pretty substantial given the injury concerns. We'll see how much is guaranteed.

by Peepshowmopguy (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:05pm

I don't get where this durability concern comes from. Before last year he missed only three games. He "missed games" (2) with migraines that have been under control for two years now. He lost 1 game to a sore knee. He was put on IR with an injury that didn't require surgery, and was more about keeping him from disrupting the team than it was about his inability to play. This is football and injuries happen, but to to say he has "durability concerns" is lazy and inaccurate.

Plenty of players with charicter issues produce, but if you watch Harvin play, his passion for the game and effort on the field are unquestionable. He hasn't given any reason for anyone to believe he will quit after a big payday. Besides he's 23 and still has another big contract coming in 4-5 years.

Frankly I don't think that a 1st, 7th and 14' mid picks is to much to pay for someone who provides his kind of versatility. Darrell Bevell knows exactly what he's getting for his offense, and knows how to use him. Now teams have to worry about Harvin, Lynch (3rd DVOA), Rice (7th DVOA) Tate (4th DVOA) and the underrated Anthony McCoy (2nd DVOA). Oh and that Wilson guy is pretty good too... (6th DVOA, 2nd DYAR-rush). If the Seahawks find a way to improve their Pass Rush, get get their Run D to be more consistent, this could be a very scary team.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:07pm

Three missed pro games in his first three years mask his injury issues. Here's a short list of injuries from before he was drafted: Achilles tendinitis, knee tendinitis, hip flexor, hamstring, quad issues, and high ankle sprain.

I was living in the Hampton Roads area when he was in high school. He may have been the most hyped high school athlete from an area that recently produced Michael Vick, Allen Iverson, Bruce Smith, David Wright, the Upton brothers, and Alonzo Mourning, among others. Still, his on-the-field temper resulted in his being suspended from any more sports while a senior in Virginia.

He also has a long history with migraines. Growing up with a mother who suffered from migraines, I know they can come in streaks. He might not have one for a couple of years or could miss half the season with them. With the recent crackdown on playing with concussions (which may or may not be related to the migraines), he could be missing more games than past players would have with the same conditions.

One last thing - his maturity issues. He also allegedly tested positive for marijuana at the combine. He missed the NFL rookie symposium due to alleged illness. And Will Allen pointed out his personality issues with Leslie Frazier, who most players consider a good coach to play for and to get along with.

Between the injury/health issues and the maturity factor, I figure Harvin will have one excellent year and one mediocre year before he's out of the league in four years. If I were the Vikings GM, I'd jump all over this trade and then go out and sign a couple mid-level WR free agents. Dominick Hixon, Greg Jennings, or even RFA Victor Cruz could fill Harvin's place on the roster and they could draft another WR on day two.

by Noah Arkadia :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 11:29pm

Man, I'm going back and forth on this with every post I read! My initial impression was expensive, but strong, bold move by Seattle.

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by CBPodge :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 5:40am

Yeah, I'm not sure if it's a good move for the Seahawks, but you can't accuse them of not trying to get better.

That being said, it does seem to reduce their window of opportunity a bit, which is an odd thing for a young team. The likes of Sherman, Thomas and Okung are going to be wanting new contracts in the next year or two, and each of those guys will probably be wanting deals at least vaguely commensurate with the top guys at their position. Putting $12m a year into Harvin will limit how much they can do with that, and losing any of their top guys would be pretty bad for them.

They're gonna need to keep hitting on guys like Wilson and Sherman (who have vastly outplayed their contracts) in the draft to avoid losing key players in the next couple of years.

by bucko (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 6:24pm

What's the basis of the troublemaker designation??

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 6:56pm


I know it's a PFT article and so should be taken with a pinch of salt but it gives the gist. It could be that it's low level stuff that Florio and other hacks are blowing out of proportion for their own tabloidish reasons.

All I was trying to point out is that while Harvin is a very good player his acquisition should be considered against what the Seahawks gave up to get him and what they could have done with the draft picks and cap room.

by wr (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 7:26pm

Kevin Seifert at ESPN said that what was publicly known about Havin's behavior
did not warrant this, which led him to speculate that there was something else
going on that the Vikings were'nt talking about which was the real reason.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:03pm

When you have an irreconcilable personality conflict with Leslie Frazier, chances are you are weapons-grade, plutonium powered, A-hole. The Seahawks might do very well with Harvin, especially for a short time, but I'd say the Vikings did very well to get that much draft value, especially once one considers how often Harvin has been in street clothes, with his teammates in helmets. .

by The Danger! (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:38pm

Oh, come on Will. I get that Harvin has an attitude, by you're going to have to explain the "street cloths" jab. Until his IR designations (for an ankle that didn’t require surgery), Harvin had only missed three games in his career. 2 were non-football injuries (migraines that have been under control for the last two years).

Here is a list of other WR's who miss as many or more games as Harvin did in their first three years:
Calvin Johnson
Andre Johnson
Vincent Jackson
DeSean Jackson
Dez Bryant
Julio Jones
Victor Cruiz
Antonio Brown

Would you make the same jab at these players, or are they “injury prone” too?
Ok, maybe Andre Johnson ...

by Will Allen :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:22pm

He's missed a lot of practice time as well, even when he's played on Sunday, playing a kind of style where missed practice time limits his value, in a manner it does not with, say, a Calvin Johnson. Throw in that the new kick off rules limits his returner value, and the simple fact that he can't get along with his bosses, and that he likely is the type of guy who will feel slighted if he isn't the highest paid guy, or perhaps isn't the highest paid non-qb guy, the Vikings did well to get as much as they did.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:41pm

I'm going to have to pick a nit here, all plutonium is weapons grade, it's uraniumm that you need to enrich in cyclotron cascades or gas centrifuges. Plutonium is not naturally occurring but when it is produced in a nuclear reactor then you can separate it chemically.

by Anonymous123 (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 8:47pm

Pft... Like we didn't already know that.

by Noah Arkadia :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 11:30pm


FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by Will Allen :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:23pm

I hate you fissile material snobs.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 11:09pm

To pick back, plutonium-244, while not produced on Earth, is the heaviest naturally occurring element.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 11:36pm

Obviously Mr Allen was talking about extra terrestrial deposits, I am ashamed for impugning his clearly superior knowledge of fissile isotopes.

by rageon :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 10:18am

I feel like this could all be resolved with some sort of elemental version of DYAR. Destruction Potential Over Replacement or something.

by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 11:40am

DPOR? Sounds like something Mark Sanchez would be good at.

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by wr (not verified) :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 12:56am

It should also be pointed out that plutonium is the most poisonous
substance known to Man, even ignoring its radioactivity. Which
makes Will's statement rather apt.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 4:13pm

Plutonium is poisonous because of its radioactivity, not in spite of it.

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 03/14/2013 - 12:22am

I'd have to consult my Kemp and Velachio but I think it's pretty poisonous anyway. Not pleasant stuff.

by RickG (not verified) :: Sat, 03/16/2013 - 10:19pm

I'm sure the behavioral issue was discussed in detail with Darrell Bevell, the current Seahawk offensive coordinator that worked with Harvin in Minnesota on his first year. If there was something significant that the Seahawk staff couldn't handle, they wouldn't have pulled the trigger on this deal, much less make a six-year deal out of it.

by BroncosGuyAgain :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 7:32pm

Vikings front office has made a lot of bad moves lately, but this is a coup. Given his size, limitations, durability, salary (and, oh yeah, grandiose self-image)I'm not sure I want him on my team. Trade for three picks? Thank you.

by Hardy (not verified) :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:11pm

Having Harvin at his disposal in short passing should escalate Russell Wilson's already high completion percentage. The Hawks are the most well rounded offense in the league if Harvin and Rice are healthy

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 9:19pm

What I don't get is that Doug Baldwin is already pretty good at that, did they need Harvin? Maybe Baldwin is the possession guy and Harvin can be the YAC guy.

by Insancipitory :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 10:20pm

I think the likely casualties are Leon Washington and Ben Obomanu.

by duh :: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 10:04pm

I can't help wondering, given the price, if there wasn't another team in competition for him as well as the Seahawks

by laberge :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 1:13am

Harvin is more durable than public perception. I don't know about the prima donna argument with Frazier bit. Troubling. Really surprised he went to a better team. If healthy (not a big if) he will be a monster. Seahawks got nice, not fast I know, outside receivers. Harvin will kill in the middle and carries out of the backfield. Toughest little guy in the NFL. Feels like a win win trade. No way Seahawks get a player as good as Harvin with their 1st rd pick this year.