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Why the Seattle Seahawks Are Winning the Offseason so Far

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 04: Percy Harvin #12 of the Minnesota Vikings returns a kick during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 4, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
Chris TrapassoAnalyst IMarch 14, 2013

The Seattle Seahawks are actively trying to disprove football adages. 

In 2012, they dispelled two of them in one fell swoop.  

Third-round quarterbacks weren't supposed to succeed in the NFL, and they essentially stood no chance if they also were 6'0'' or shorter.

Russell Wilson shattered that notion with a marvelous rookie campaign.

This year, they're attempting to drive away the thought that "winning" the offseason doesn't translate to winning on the field, along with the sentiment which states the "good teams" are normally quiet in free agency.  

Let's examine why Seattle's general manager John Schneider is clearly having a victorious offseason so far.

 

Percy Harvin Trade

Yes, the Seahawks compensated the Vikings handsomely for Harvin. A first-rounder, seventh-rounder and a 2014 third-rounder was a hefty draft-pick package. Also, the six-year, $67 million contract with $25.5 million guaranteed was an undeniably steep price to pay for the wideout.

But when you've hit on guys like Bobby Wagner (second-round), Wilson (third-round), Richard Sherman (fifth-round), Kam Chancellor (fifth-round) and have first-round picks like Russell Okung and Earl Thomas playing to their draft status, life as a professional football organization is much easier. 

When none of said franchise cornerstones have celebrated their 26th birthday, and you were a few plays away from a conference title game in the previous season, a major investment is sensible. 

In one year, the Seahawks went from a fun upstart club to a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and now they're doing whatever is necessary to win a title as soon as possible. 

Nothing wrong with that. 

Harvin comes with risk, but show me a free agent who doesn't—free agents are free agents for one reason or another. 

Right now, the offensive creativity and sheer explosiveness he provides is far more valuable than the draft picks Seattle surrendered. 

What's more, it'll be extremely hard for Harvin to bust with the Seahawks because many of his touches will come via high-percentage passes and handoffs

It's unlikely that his vision, cutting ability and incredible burst will instantly dissipate in the Pacific Northwest.

The Harvin acquisition was costly and bold, but it was a move precipitated by Schneider's realization that his young team has suddenly entered win-now mode.

 

Cliff Avril Signing

Evan Silva of NBC Sports—quite the informed and insightful football analyst—ranked Avril as the No. 3 free agent in 2013 class and predicted him to sign a five-year, $64 million deal. 

Heck, Avril reportedly declined a three-year, $30 million contract offered to him by the Detroit Lions in 2012 and played under a $10.6 million franchise tag last season. 

Schneider likely sold Avril on Seattle's championship-caliber defense which enabled the pass-rusher to be signed at a reduced rate after his market was considerably more dry than initially expected.

With underrated defensive end Chris Clemons nursing an ACL tear he suffered on the unpleasant confines of FedEx Field during the playoff win against the Washington Redskins, Avril's fit is exquisite.

Sure, he benefited from the playing on the same defensive line as Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Kyle Vanden Bosch, but it's not as if he'll be playing with a bunch of chumps in an outdated, predictable system in Seattle. 

Far from it.

 

Conclusion

Although the Seahawks have made only two moves, they added valuable pieces to their diverse and skillful roster. 

What they didn't do was spend frivolously on past-their-prime players who'd stand in as rentals in a one-or-two-year title window. 

Percy Harvin and Cliff Avril added talent in needed areas, but their youthfulness yields staying power for a Seahawks team that's winning the offseason and should be doing plenty of winning for years to come. 

 

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