The Seattle Seahawks were already a team on the rise after an extremely impressive 2012 season that ultimately fell short in the divisional round of the postseason. To make matters better for the foreseeable future, the front office made the bold move of acquiring former Minnesota Vikings star WR Percy Harvin, which makes Seattle a Super Bowl favorite for 2013.
FOX Sports' Jay Glazer initially broke news of the seemingly out-of-nowhere deal. This netted the Vikings the No. 25 overall pick in this year's draft and other selections, but gave the Seahawks a much-needed playmaker.
If there was anything missing from the Seahawks' offense, it was a true threat after the catch. Sidney Rice is a massive target and a good deep threat, while Golden Tate himself is outstanding at snagging 50-50 balls.
However, rookie QB Russell Wilson—as amazingly as he played—didn't have a shifty slot receiver to dump it off to and allow for magic to happen.
Wilson was a one-man show in that regard, consistently evading massive defenders when protection broke down, and always seeming to know when to run and how to make yards out of a busted play.
What Harvin brings to the table is truly unique. There are players who are dangerous in the open field—then, there are players like Harvin, who has few if any equals. ESPN Stats & Info highlights just how lethal he can be with the ball in his hands.
Despite missing 7 games, Percy Harvin was 5th among WR in 2012 in Yards After Catch behind Welker, Crabtree, Demaryius Thomas, Andre Johnson— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 11, 2013
Interesting to note, too, that Harvin missed the final seven games of the most recent regular season due to an injury suffered in Seattle. The team he ultimately ended his carer in Minnesota playing against is where Harvin will play his next NFL down.
Harvin can do much more than run after the catch, though. He is a home run threat in every sense, capable of scoring from anywhere on the field.
Percy Harvin is 1 of 3 players since the 1970 merger (along with Brad Smith and Brian Mitchell) with 4 Rush TD, 4 Rec TD, 4 KO Ret TD— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 11, 2013
The fact that Harvin can run the ball out of the backfield makes him so much of an asset in Darrell Bevell's increasingly innovative offense. Due to Wilson's athleticism, the Seahawks' offensive coordinator threw in some read-option looks when Seattle started rolling in the second half of the year.
That led to defenses being even more off-balance, having to account for Wilson on the edge and the bruising power of RB Marshawn Lynch between the tackles.
Now, there is the chance that Wilson could be lined up in the shotgun with both Harvin and Lynch flanking him. Such a proposition has to be terrifying for opposing defenses.
Also especially scary for those with the misfortune of facing this high-octane attack is that Bevell was OC for the Vikings during the first two years of Harvin's career. There is already an innate connection and an understanding of Bevell's schemes.
All of Seattle's NFC West divisional foes—the 49ers, Rams and Cardinals—have promising, extremely athletic defenses that all pose their own problems. Any edge the Seahawks could have gotten was going to be key, but Harvin is among the toughest players to prepare for in the entire league due to his versatility.
Oh, and the Seahawks' defense is also phenomenal.
The secondary is filled with stars in All-Pro Richard Sherman and Pro Bowlers Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Brandon Browner. The extremely athletic linebacker corps is led by impending second-year MLB Bobby Wagner.
The front four is among the most unique in the NFL, with their combination of gigantic size but exceptional nimbleness.
All the Seahawks need is another solid pass-rusher to absorb the loss of 2012 sack leader Chris Clemons, who tore his ACL in the playoffs.
How far will the Seattle Seahawks go in 2013?
Adding an impact player to the offense was also a priority, and it has been more than adequately filled by Harvin. Any displeasure over his previous contract situation will likely subside, too. As Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports, Harvin is scheduled to make more than $12 million per year in his new deal with Seattle.
As long as the Seahawks can keep Harvin happy and he can stay healthy, the offense will be borderline unstoppable. Harvin himself will divert so much attention that it will open up a plethora of opportunities for those around him to shine.
Between the dynamic running game, a huge home crowd advantage for eight games, even more development from Wilson in his second year as a pro and the Harvin factor, the Seahawks have to be considered favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.