Why Percy Harvin Is a Perfect Fit for the Seattle Seahawks

Tyson LanglandNFC West Lead WriterMarch 11, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 1: Percy Harvin #12 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a touchdown against the Chicago Bears on January 1, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

At times last season, it was easy to see the Seahawks needed one more dynamic playmaker to put them over the top on offense. Today, they were handed that playmaker.

According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Seattle shipped three draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for former first-round pick Percy Harvin:

The move is an obvious win-win for both organizations, as it addresses pressing needs. Minnesota needed to wipe its hands clean of Harvin and all of the headaches he has brought to the team, while the Seahawks needed to score more points—plain and simple.

This trade will allow for both things to happen immediately. 

Even though Seattle had some strong outings on the offensive side of the ball in 2012, that doesn't take away from the fact that it finished 27th overall in pass offense. This is why talent evaluators and draft projections had the 'Hawks taking a chance on DeAndre Hopkins or Tavon Austin (via Eric Williams of The News Tribune) at No. 25 in this year's draft. 

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees on draft day, so John Schneider and Pete Carroll decided to go all in on a proven commodity. A proven commodity that has been both a Pro Bowler and All-Pro when healthy.

That's the million dollar question surrounding the trade: Can Harvin stay healthy long enough to have the type of All-Pro season he had in 2009?

Since entering the league just four years ago, No. 12 has only appeared in all 16 games once—not to mention he has never started all 16 games and has missed 10 games total. On average, he misses one game every 6.5 weeks. There are guys who have been considered more injury-prone than him, although that number is still a tad alarming. 

When having the ability to acquire a player of Harvin's magnitude, risks of that nature are weighed, but in most cases they don't outweigh his playmaking ability. Seattle loves "unique" players who serve a specific purpose on the team.

Evaluating Coach Carroll's squad, it's easy to see Harvin will fill two major roles right away. 

The most obvious one is on the inside as a slot receiver and the second one is as the Seahawks' kick returner. Based on the fact that Schneider will have to give Harvin a new contract (via Adam Schefter of ESPN), the writing is now on the wall for Leon Washington

Releasing Washington would save the organization $2,125,000, money it will surely need if it plans to pay Harvin top dollar. It will be hard for fans to see the 30-year-old running back go, just because he has given the Seahawks so much to be thankful for as a returner, but this move ultimately puts him out of a job. 

As the team's third running back in 2012, Washington only played 73 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus—a far cry from the 158 he logged in 2011.

With a player of Harvin's return skills, you don't simply limit him to wide receiver. You put him in a position that will allow him to succeed and maximize his talents at any point during any game. 

Which is why the zone-read option offense is the best fit for him. Harvin is most successful when running crossing routes over the middle, catching bubble screens behind the line of scrimmage and taking handoffs out of the backfield. Just imagine what the fakes off the zone-read option will allow for in terms of play-calling.

The opposition won't be able to press at the line of scrimmage because of it, allowing for a free release a majority of the time.

Playing Harvin straight up is a challenge for any corner—I don't care who they are. His quickness out of breaks and separation ability stack up with some of the best the league has to offer at wide receiver. 

Let's not forget the things he does in open space as well. Since his rookie season, he has forced 60 missed tackles—22 of those 60 came in Minnesota's first nine games of the 2012 season. It's also worth noting that no Seahawks receiver had more forced missed tackles by season's end than Harvin did through nine games. 

Sure, it is a huge risk trading for a player who has as much baggage as Harvin does. Yet no one will remember the compensation or the headaches he caused Leslie Frazier if the Seahawks make an appearance at MetLife Stadium in February. 

Everyone will then be praising Schneider and Carroll for making such a bold move.