The Vikings knew they couldn’t coexist with the highly talented, but at time high maintenance, Percy Harvin. They bought high (2009 first-round pick) and somehow sold even higher (2013 first-round pick, plus more), getting real value from a guy they so badly wanted to trade that G.M. Rick Spielman declared publicly and loudly that the Vikings had “no intent” to trade him.
In Seattle, it never got to the point where anyone knew there was even a problem. Last year, there was a hint of the old Harvin as the deadline approached for moving Harvin, who had surprise hip surgery at the outset of training camp, from the PUP list to the active roster. Rumors circulated that Harvin would soon be put on injured reserve, which were aimed at getting him to work harder to get himself ready to contribute at some point in the eventual run to the Super Bowl.
Harvin looked pretty good against the Saints in the divisional round before exiting with an injury. In the Super Bowl, Harvin provided a glimpse of the field-tilting presence he could be in 2014, via a jet sweep that the Broncos couldn’t stop. But for a dominant performance from the Seattle defense, Harvin easily could have been the Super Bowl MVP.
This year, Harvin had only 225 yards from scrimmage in five games. Against the Cowboys, he had six total touches for minus-one yards.
While the truth may never fully emerge, initial indications suggest that there was stress between Harvin and quarterback Russell Wilson, with Wilson feeling too much pressure to get the ball to Harvin. That pressure surely came from only one person — Percy.
And so instead of keeping around a guy who really didn’t contribute much to the run to the Super Bowl and who potentially would undermine the attempt to get back to the Super Bowl and win it again, the Seahawks cut the cord on Harvin.
It’s a lesson to all the other teams that would keep a guy around to justify a mistake. Instead of making a second mistake, the Seahawks admitted the first mistake and moved on.