October 19th, 2014- As much of a headliner as the Seahawks losing at the C Link to the Dallas Cowboys last week was the trade with the dynamic wide receiver Percy Harvin on friday. In just the second loss at home in Russell Wilson’s short but impressive short career the fans and local media have criticized the offense for their lack of production. They only mustered up 13 points and only 1 offensive TD which was the result of a muffed punt and was unable to get Marshawn Lynch involved (only had 10 total touches throughout the entire game). The defense gave up key third down conversions most notably the 3rd and 20 on a scramble by Tony Romo resulting in a tip toe catch on the sideline by Terrence Williams that led to the game winning TD. There was visible frustration with the offense on the sidelines during the game as “Angry” Doug Baldwin having an animated discussion (though it seemed like Baldwin was doing all the talking) with Russell Wilson and also with his post game comments. There was no finger pointing by Baldwin just his frustration with how the offense as a whole has been playing and himself needs to play better and get back to the foundation of how the team was built, give Beast Mode the ball. Ironically after his animated conversation with Wilson, Percy Harvin who thought he would be more helpful on the sideline on a critical 4th down play at the end of the game that the Seahawks needed to convert to keep the would be game winning drive going. The reports have stated that Percy refused to go back to the game. That selfish act alone may have been the last straw that led to the trade of Percy Harvin to the Jets.
John Schneider and Pete Carroll traded for Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings in the spring of 2013 in a block buster trade. Seahawks gave up a first and seventh round pick in 2103 and also a third round pick in 2014 and signed him to a 6 year, $67 million with $25.5 million guaranteed despite being hit with the injury bug with the Vikings. He’s only played in 6 games with the Seahawks since he’s been here, the highlight of his stint was the TD return in the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos even though the game was well in hand. This season Harvin has 22 receptions for 133 yards most of them on bubble and smoke screens (passes caught behind the line of scrimmage) and has only one catch of more than 10 yards down the field. His 6 yards per catch ranks him dead last in the league. Most of his production has come from run specifically on fly sweeps (11 runs for 92 yards) and on kickoffs (12 returns for 283 yards). It is as though the Seahawks have made Harvin as their number one option and made Lynch a complimentary piece when in fact it should be the other way around if the Seahawks are going to be successful. With the amount of money, lack of production, and his volatile personality the Seahawks finally decided it was time to part ways and traded him to the New York Jets on friday. With the trade the Jets will pick up the remainder of the Harvin’s contract which is til the end of the 2018 season worth $48.6 million and will have to pay his 2014 guaranteed salary of $7.1 million but he can be cut at the end of the 2014 season. The Seahawks in return will get an unconditional pick ranging from the fourth through the sixth round.
It’s not a secret to anyone with Harvin’s locker room issues. That’s partly the reason why the Vikings decided to trade one of the most dynamic players in the league. Reports out of the Minnesota camp was that Harvin was that he was constantly getting into arguments and had anger management issues. After the trade reports has come out that Harvin had the same issues with the Seahawks. The Seattle Times reported Harvin gave former team mate Golden Tate a black eye on the eve of the Super Bowl and cut Baldwin’s chin in the preseason. According to one NFL source, “He’s just a time bomb.”
The trade for Harvin has been one of the very few mishaps of the Seahawks since the Schneider and Carroll era. They’ve nearly perfect since they took over the franchise. Harvin put them in the worst situation possible, giving up a lot and getting little in return. Having said that the trade did free up $12 million next year agains the salary cap. They will need that to extend out their franchise quarterback as well as linebackers, KJ Wright and Bobby Wagner. The trade should also let the Seahawks go back to doing what they do best, RUN the football. Many times this year it seemed that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell made Harvin their primary piece of the offense often limiting Lynch’s carries which is not the foundation of what this team is built on.
Even though this weeks headlines are made off the field there is still a game to be played today. The Seahawks will travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams. Having lost the week before this is a pivotal game and is close to being a “must win” game as it can be for the sixth game of the season. Another loss would equal total from all of last year and the Seahawks cannot afford to fall another game behind division leading Arizona Cardinals. The schedule only gets tougher as they head into division play.
KEYS TO THE GAME: 1) FEED THE BEAST. With the trade of Harvin the Seahawks don’t have to cater to his needs and need to get back to their forgotten ground game. In their three wins this season Lynch has touched the ball of at least twenty times. 2) THROW THE BALL DOWN FIELD. Harvin was more of a hybrid player but now they can concentrate on getting their draft choices, receivers Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood involved. Richardson has only one catch this year and Norwood has been on the IR this season. Both are active for today’s game. 3) SEAHAWKS NEED TO STOP RAMS ON THIRD DOWN. The Seahawks are last in the league in stopping opponents on third and long (over 10 yards). They must get off the field on third downs since their rotation isn’t as deep as last year to avoid fatigue. 4) CUT DOWN ON THE PENALTIES. Seahawks must not self destruct and get points taken off the board with careless penalties.
INJURIES: Zach Miller, Bobby Wagner, Byron Maxwell, Luke Wilson, Cassius Marsh(IR) and Max Unger are all out. Kam Chancellor, Russell Okung both will play despite being banged up.
ROSTER MOVES: Cornerback Tharold Simon and defensive back Eric Pinkins both returned to practice and should see some playing time against the Rams.
FINAL SCORE: Seahawks 27 Rams 16