The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to trade receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks for draft picks, including Seattle's first-rounder in 2013, a seventh-rounder in 2013, and a mid-round pick in 2014, according to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer. Harvin, the Vikings' first-round pick in 2009, had expressed displeasure about his current contractual situation and according to some reports, he had demanded a trade recently. Glazer reports that the deal is done pending a physical.
The move would re-unite Harvin with two old friends -- offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who served that same function for the Vikings from 2006 through 2010, and fellow receiver Sidney Rice, who was drafted by the Vikings in the second round of the 2007 draft. Rice signed a free-agent contract with the Seahawks before the 2011 season.
In his four NFL seasons and through 43 starts, Harvin has 280 catches for 3,302 yards and 20 touchdowns. A multi-positional threat, he's also amassed 683 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns on 107 carries. In addition, he's one of the more dangerous kick returners in the NFL, amassing at least one return score in each of his four seasons.
NFL MVP Adrian Peterson was not too happy about the move. From his Twitter account:
The best all around player I ever seen or you'll ever see! Goes to Seattle! I feel like I just got kicked in the stomach. Several times!!!
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll knows all about Harvin, and has for nearly a decade. When Harvin was coming out of Landstown High in Virginia Beach, Va. in 2005, Carroll, who was then USC's head coach, went all out in recruiting him. Alas, Harvin went to Florida. But when he was asked about Harvin before the Seahawks and Vikings faced off last November, Carroll couldn't stop gushing.
"I really think it’s the way that they’re targeting him," Carroll said of Harvin on Oct. 31. "He has 80 targets right now and over half of those are at the line of scrimmage or behind it. So they get the ball in his hands, he’s run the ball 18 times already. He’s a running back at times in their system. They know that he’s a great athlete, a great player and can produce. They figured out ways to get him the football. I think they’re well ahead of what they were last year at this time. He’s so good you just have to showcase him and that’s what they’re doing. He’s averaging 35.7 yards on kickoff return, crazy numbers. He’s a fantastic player. He was arguably the best player in America coming out of school. So the fact that he’s playing with all the top guys and his numbers are on top of league, and that’s fitting."
That all happened before Harvin suffered an ankle injury that ended his season in November -- against the Seahawks.
The Harvin move is not without risks. He's a mercurial personality, to say the least -- he was suspended in each of his last two high-school seasons, including a two-game hit for shoving a referee. He's played all 16 games in a season just once (2011) and the barking he's done about his contract in recent months has to be a concern, even to a coach like Carroll who believes himself able to engineer transformations with difficult players.
Harvin is guaranteed a $2.755 million base salary in the last year of his rookie deal. According to a recent Yahoo! Sports report, Harvin believes himself in the same class as Detroit's Calvin Johnson, and wants the same kind of contract. Johnson signed an eight-year, $150.5 million contract in March of 2012, and averages $16.5 million per year. As dynamic as he is, Harvin is probably better set to get something in the range of $8 million per season.
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