According to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer, the New York Jets have traded a conditional draft pick to the Seattle Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin. It's a shocking deal, given that Seattle traded its 2013 first-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings on March 1, 2013 and later signed Harvin to a six-year, $67 million contract extension with $25.5 million guaranteed. However, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Seahawks had been in the market to trade Harvin for weeks.
Harvin was out for all but a handful of regular-season snaps in the 2013 season with a hip injury, though he played a major role in Seattle's 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. This season, however, a healthy Harvin has not been what the Seahawks expected, gaining just 133 yards on 22 catches. Thought to be one of the fastest on-field players in the NFL, Harvin has been limited by Seattle's offensive structure, which has had him running mostly screen passes and not using his vertical speed on more advanced route concepts.
"Yes, I want to use all our guys," Seahawks offensive coordinator Darell Bevell said this week, regarding Harvin's role in a Seattle offense that has struggled with productivity and identity. "You can go to the three games you win, you’re up in the 60 plays, the two games you lose you’re in the 40 plays -- just not enough. All our guys are very talented and we want to have all of them involved. I hate to get out of the game and some guys have a zero on the stats sheet. Sometimes that’s the way it goes. All those guys are very talented -- we can use any of them.
"Do we want Percy [Harvin] to get the ball in every way we possibly can, I think it’s obvious because we’re trying to do things to get him the ball. We’ve run him down the field on the play for the touchdown it got called back. But the same thing with a lot of other guys; with Doug [Baldwin], Jermaine [Kearse], and Luke [Willson] -- we thought Luke [Willson] could have a nice opportunity as well and Marshawn [Lynch], usually that’s the easiest way to get it to him is to turn around and hand it and we didn’t do it enough."
Now, Bevell may be in a better spot with fewer options. Quarterback Russell Wilson has completed just six passes of 20 yards or more this season, and Harvin had been targeted on none of them. This puts Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse in the pole positions as Seattle's primary receivers.
As for the 1-6 Jets, this fills a major hole in their offense. Outside of Eric Decker, Geno Smith has nobody who can consistently beat coverage, and Decker has struggled to stay healthy this season. In an ironic twist, the Jets' top two receivers now -- Harvin and Decker -- were on separate sides in last season's Super Bowl. If the Jets use Harvin right, which it may be said that the Seahawks struggled to do, Smith, who played very well against the Patriots and has had some outstanding moments this season,will surely benefit.
“As a quarterback when you’re young, you need help," Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk said on NFL Network's Thursday pregame show."You need to feel like you have to be a facilitator; put the ball in guys' hands and they’re going to get the job done. Geno is taking heat because people in New York are expecting him to win football games. With the talent that they have, you can’t win football games by yourself."
Now, at least, Smith has one more possibility.