Dismiss Harvin’s winter of discontent

dave.boling@thenewstribune.comMarch 12, 2013 

You may fairly wonder about Percy Harvin’s expense to the Seattle Seahawks, since his acquisition by trade with the Minnesota Vikings involves three draft picks, including this year’s 25th overall.

And you may be concerned about the receiver’s durability, since he missed half of last season with an ankle sprain.

But his much-discussed attitude, which has caused him to be described as “disgruntled,” should not be an issue in Seattle. So take that off the board when you weigh the risks and rewards for the Seahawks.

Remember a couple years ago when the Seahawks picked up a Pro Bowl running back from Buffalo, who was on the market because of character and attitude questions?

Turns out, Marshawn Lynch worked out pretty well for his team.

That Harvin has been snippy with his coach and was unhappy with his contract makes him look like an Eagle Scout compared to the baggage Lynch shed when he arrived in Seattle.

Harvin can be expected to “buy in” with the other unanimously content Seahawks, enjoying the eternal sunshine of a Pete Carroll roster for a couple of reasons:

It’s now Russell Wilson’s team, and anybody with a sour attitude will be converted in short order or he won’t get the ball. Wilson will have him chirping “Go Hawks!” during interviews before mini-camps are over.

If it’s a question of toughness, there’s not really an option: If you don’t work at full capacity, Lynch will run over you.

The potential reward is obvious: Harvin is one of the most versatile and dynamic players in the league. In four seasons, he’s scored 29 touchdowns (which includes four rushing and five on kick returns).

In the open field, he makes more people miss than just about anybody in the league, too.

From his first day in Seattle, Carroll extolled the appeal of big-play, touchdown-makers. Harvin was so appealing out of high school in Virginia in that regard, Carroll tried to get him to USC only to lose out to Florida.

Carroll has done well on “second-chance” recruiting, having also missed the first time on Lynch and All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman (Stanford) as prep players.

When Minnesota came to town last November, Harvin was leading the NFL in total yards, and was considered to be among a handful of players in contention for league MVP honors. Carroll raved about his status as a showcase talent.

So, Harvin’s going to be a new toy for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who was with Harvin his first two seasons in Minnesota.

Reverses, end-arounds, bubble screens … Harvin suddenly adds hours of film study and preparation to opponents’ defensive staffs.

Just the threat of him on a reverse makes Lynch better up the middle, and any other receiver on the field will benefit from the attention secondaries have to give Harvin.

Yes, he’s expensive. Three total draft picks and a contract that expires after next season — and will get much more pricey — is a hefty cost.

Harvin may be viewed, too, as a redundancy to receivers Golden Tate or Doug Baldwin and returner Leon Washington.

But make no mistake, this is a high-end talent who still has a massive upside. And the Seahawks still have salary cap room for free agents and draft picks to address other needs.

It’s rare, too, to be able to get a proven playmaker at this stage of his career. Consider this: Although he’s been in the league four seasons and played in 54 NFL games, he’s only five months older than Wilson.

Beyond that, William Percival Harvin III and Russell Carrington Wilson — carrying around the names of a pair of Virginia-bred gentlemen — grew up as contemporaries roughly 100 miles apart.

If there’s a connection between these two already, consider it another positive for the Seahawks.

I can guarantee there are three defensive coordinators of NFC West teams already imagining the kind of nightmares Harvin’s addition to the Seahawks has created for them.

I would be reluctant to pass on a tweet and consider it compelling commentary, but one that came across regarding Harvin was pretty interesting: “Best all-around player I (sic) ever seen or you’ll ever see!”

It was from a former Vikings teammate, a guy going by the Twitter handle @AdrianPeterson.

I consider that a glowing testament to the talents of the Seahawks’ newest player.

Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 dave.boling@thenewstribune.com

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