Harvin deal a signal contenders should be thinking big

AP

Percy Harvin is a Jet, and somewhere, an NFL owner ought to be asking the General Manager one simple question:

“Why weren’t we in on this?”

This is not to say Harvin is a fit for every team, or that he would be the slam dunk missing piece for any club. The point is, teams should be weighing whether it’s time to take a big swing in the trade market before the October 28 deadline. Yes, not all contending teams are of equal caliber, and a Broncos-Seahawks rematch in Super Bowl 49 wouldn’t exactly knock anybody over.

But there are plenty of other clubs who have flashed enough ability thus far to harbor reasonable contending dreams.

And really, whom should upstarts fear?

Seattle and Denver are still strong, but neither has been invincible. The Seahawks have lost twice, including once at home, and they are weaker from a skill standpoint on offense without Harvin. The Broncos are surely formidable, but their resume again includes a loss to Seattle, which has had Denver’s number.

In the AFC, the Chargers, Patriots and Colts have all had their moments, with San Diego perhaps looking best of the trio. But the Chargers have feasted on struggling teams recently, knocking off the Jaguars, Jets and Raiders. The Colts’ defense, while improved, can still have its hands full against top competition. The Patriots have their bearings now, but what about their hard-to-fathom September play?

And what to make of the AFC North? The Bengals started 3-0 but haven’t won since, and their postseason struggles are well-known. The Ravens came up short in losses to Cincinnati and Indianapolis. The Browns have surprised, but can they sustain their strong current form?

The NFC has had several surprise teams emerge, with Dallas (5-1) even with Philadelphia in the East and Detroit (4-2) tied with Green Bay atop the North. But can the Cowboys’ defense hold up? And what about the Eagles’ ground game? The Lions might not have enough offense to hold off the Packers . . . who have faltered in postseason play in each of the previous three seasons.

The NFC South looks like it could be a one-bid division, with Carolina (3-2-1) on top despite a minus-16 point differential — the worst of any of the division leaders. Perhaps New Orleans finally gets going, but its defense hasn’t been as sharp as a season ago.

In the NFC West, Arizona (4-1) leads, but only Oakland, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are worse from a yardage-differential per game standpoint than the Cardinals. The tough 49ers keep chugging along, and they can never be discounted, but they continue to deal with injuries to key personnel.

So back to the subject of going for it.

The primary currency in trades — draft picks — will surely give teams pause. No one wants to break into that vault without good reason. It’s on teams to decide what they are comfortable surrendering. Teams expecting compensatory draft picks can maneuver a little easier. So too can teams with skilled and confident scouting staffs. When the Seahawks dealt a No. 1 pick for Harvin in 2013, they did so in a year where the draft was not regarded as especially strong.

In-season trades don’t happen that often in the NFL, and it’s unreasonable to expect a flurry of activity leading up to this deadline. But it is reasonable for quite a few teams to believe they have a shot this season, especially if they can address a glaring weakness with a veteran starter.

Which is why the Harvin trade is a nice little jolt to the league’s system. If the Jets are going to make a move, other teams ought to be looking at their chip stacks and wondering what it will take to get to the final table.

46 responses to “Harvin deal a signal contenders should be thinking big

  1. How stupid of the Jets when they are going nowhere but down the tubes. I would also be weary of the Seahawks knowing something about Harvin’s health. In a case receiving a two from the Jets is almost like getting a one for Seattle.

  2. Gosh, this is like that legendary Adrian Dantley for Mark Aguirre mid-season trade…except that both of those players were good, whereas Percy Harvin is overrated and injured wherever he goes. Other than that, it’s déjà vu all over again.

  3. 1: They sent him to the Jets as a punishment, and an example to other players of what happens if you don’t get with the program.

    2: It’s a desperation move by Rex to save his job, just like Lovey Smith used to make all those deals to stave off his firing; Julius Peppers, Jay Cutler, etc.

  4. Jets keep chasing their tail….
    Not sure if their is a more dis functional team out there from top to bottom… Even the Raiders look to be better off!!!
    Now that’s just sad & awesome at the same time!!!
    Go Pats!!!

  5. The Jets made a move because they are in full blown panic mode. If anything, other GM’s are going to look at this and say “if that’s the route the Jets are going to go, I don’t want to be thrown in the same boat with Idzik, and be seen as hitting the panic button”

  6. No other teams care one bit that the last place jets got a player that plays 30% of the time. and of that 30% of the time he’s makin problems in locker rooms 100% of the time. Harvin is fast. That’s it. He’s no more valuable (less valuable IMO) than a desean Jackson or TY Hilton (who is MUCH better than Harvin). So don’t get too hype because the jets got a player that played like a jet (bad) before he ever was a jet

  7. In season trades in the NFL, unlike other sports don’t often produce immediate results due to the need to learn the playbook and develop chemistry with other players.

    Thought Hawks gave up too much to Vikes, but at least they aren’t compounding the error by keeping him there to undermine the team. Now Bevell can get back to running the offense they way he did last year without Harvin which, I think, is a good thing…addition through subtraction

  8. Yes, every team should consider trading for an overpriced always injured player that also happens to be a head case and locker room cancer.

  9. The thought of the Patriots having gotten their hands on him makes me cringe. Bubble screens and slants from Brady all day? No thanks.

  10. I disagree with the premise of this article. In my mind, the Seahawks added by subtracting. If Percy is picking a fight with your star QB, it’s time to jettison the trouble maker outta town.

  11. I disagree, I don’t believe big trades in the middle of the season help.

    Sure you can get a talented player, but then there is a new system to learn, and then teams are going to feel pressure to show he was worth trading for. I think it throw a wrench into season.

    Most importantly if a player is truly good, no team is going to want to trade them. They want them for their team.

  12. While the idea of seeing in season activity would be more exciting, there’s a reason there aren’t many in season trades and there’s a reason that the ones that do happen are usually unsuccessful. The season isn’t long enough for a player to come in and learn an offensive system quickly enough to be productive or useful.

    This isn’t baseball, where hitting a pitch from Clayton Kershaw is the exact same whether you’re a Yankee or a Pirate. Even basketball and hockey, which does take some on court/ice chemistry, can be picked up fairly quickly. But football is completely dependent on knowing where exactly someone is going to be. The difference between inches can be the difference between a touchdown and an interception. Hockey and basketball, even if a mistake happens due to a bad read if the original intended receiver is talented or hustles enough it’s a lot easier to compensate.

    The only players that can succeed I think right off the bat is running backs, and maybe d-lineman if you keep their assignments simple and just have them rush.

  13. Why? It didn’t work out for Seattle. Why would any other team make this type of mistake?

  14. I just assumed trades don’t happen in season very often because it takes so long for certain positions to learn a new playbook.

  15. I didn’t see Harvin screaming at his QB on the sidelines. These dudes are clearing space to pay Wilson, but I’m sure they’ll regret not keeping Tate. Let’s see if Sherman gets some snaps at WR once Wilson gives Baldwin the shoulder.

  16. nyj1979 says:
    Oct 18, 2014 12:38 AM
    The thought of the Patriots having gotten their hands on him makes me cringe. Bubble screens and slants from Brady all day? No thanks.

    =How is that any different than the Patriots game plan the last 4 years? That’s all Brady throws

  17. coachwolf49 says:
    Oct 18, 2014 9:42 AM

    Seattle lost 11 players with 58 years of NFL experience. Their OL is barely adequate and their WR corps is a joke. No title this year
    =============

    I remember when you posted this last year too.

    Keep trying.

    Even a broke clock is right twice a day.

  18. Its suprising you don’t see even more ‘depth’ trades from teams that have run into injury trouble. Back up for back up, each team deals a player from a position of strength and depth and in turn shore up an area of weakness.

  19. You can take the Lions off the list, they already signed the Seahawks best receiver from last year, Golden Tate.

  20. My favorite part of this article is that it’s about contenders and Da Bears aren’t mentioned once.

  21. joe6606 says:
    Oct 18, 2014 7:18 AM
    Draft picks are way overvalued. Trades should happen more often

    ———————————

    If your team blows at drafting then ‘yes’ draft picks are overrated…………….but it’s ONLY through draft picks can teams obtain and remain competitive with a salary cap and high priced franchise QBs. But trades like this are just cries for help (for the Jets). It’s incredible how much this team became eviscerated after Mangini left it in good competitive shape.

  22. I sort of predicted this would happen.His production was limited because defenses keyed on him , now defenses will have no dynamic player to worry about, huge mistake by the hawks , gave up too early on this guy.

  23. For some teams who are currently playing well enough to win, standing pat, staying healthy, and waiting for your players to come back seems to be the best approach. For instance, the 49ers who are 4-2 (easily could be 6-0) will be getting back their best players NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith shortly after the bye week.

    The Harvin deal doesn’t mean anything apart from the fact that the Seahawks locker room was rife with problems that were hidden from the public. You don’t just trade away your 1st, 3rd and 7th rounders for a player then gave him $12 million signing bonus. Next year they will also eat $7.2 million dollars of dead money.

  24. The Seahawks “problems” for every decent player they draft, like Wilson in the 3rd round, they do bone headed acquisitions like Harvin and Rice for huge salaries and yet gaining no production from them.

    Oh, that and Bone head Bevell who can’t seem to figure out that ev’one but Bevell knows the Hawks are running on first and second down, placing Hawks in 3rd and long…again, and again, and again. Most boring Pro offense ever assembled, 3 years running. Fire Bevell already!

  25. As much as I can’t knock them for cutting ties, if the guy is a problem, get rid of him before it gets worse, I have to wonder, who is their threat on the outside now?

    Doug Baldwin? No offense to Baldwin, who I think is decent, but I’ll take my chances man on man, with 8 in the box, and one of the LB’s (or a S) spying Wilson on passing downs.

    Lynch, Wilson, and their line are good enough that, with that D, they can still win a lot of games, even if you know what is coming. But when playing the better teams in the league (Like in the playoffs), that’s going to make it very tough.

  26. Honestly, we don’t know how this will turn out…but either he was too much of a headache to deal with or The hawks are frauds about their vaunted competition and camaraderie

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