You knew when the Seattle Seahawks dropped a bombshell of trading receiver Percy Harvin to the New York Jets that there was more to the story, and there is.
Harvin gave then-teammate Golden Tate a black eye before the Super Bowl, had another fight with Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin before a preseason game this season, and the final straw for him in Seattle might have come when he apparently didn't want to go back into a game against Dallas in the fourth quarter last Sunday, the Seattle Times reported.
The fight with Tate was first reported by Lance Zierlein of Sports Talk 790 in Houston and confirmed by the Times. Zierlein also reported there was almost a fight between Harvin and quarterback Russell Wilson this season. The Tate story led people to start searching for photos of Tate just before, during and after the Super Bowl, and it does look like he had a black eye:
— Skyler Johnson (@ya_boy_hollywud) October 17, 2014
But that wasn't all, according to the Times. Before Seattle's final preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, Harvin and Baldwin were in a fight, Baldwin got a cut on his chin and both players missed some practices. Harvin didn't make the trip to Oakland for what the team said was "a personal matter," the Times said.
Harvin then "apparently balked" at going back into the Dallas game last week, the Times said, citing sources. Harvin played just six of Seattle's final 17 snaps of the loss to the Cowboys.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider said in a statement that it was a tough call to trade Harvin.
"Although this was an extremely difficult decision, we are constantly evaluating our team and believe at this time, that this is in our best interest to move the team forward," Schneider said. "We thank Percy for his efforts that contributed to a Super Bowl XLVIII victory and wish him well."
This isn't the first time Harvin's name has been associated with some troubling behavior. When the Sporting News ran a long piece in 2012 of how Florida's program had dealt with many character issues under former coach Urban Meyer, Harvin was prominently involved, including a story of how he physically attacked receivers coach Billy Gonzales. Harvin's high school career was "marked with several suspensions for on- and off-the-field incidents, which included hitting a teacher and a referee," according to a New York Times story. When Harvin was traded from Minnesota to Seattle last year, there was more speculation that he was a high-maintenance player for the Vikings.
No matter what happened behind the scenes, the Seahawks decided to move on from Harvin, and got a conditional sixth-round pick that can become a fourth-round pick, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said. And if Harvin becomes an issue in the New York locker room, it's not like the Jets can say they were blindsided. The Seahawks really can't say they were, either.
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