After completely processing the shock of the Second Annual Percy Harvin Trade and while still sniffing around the reasons for it, let’s take a look at the financial ramifications of the move, for both teams.
Based on a breakdown of the contract obtained by PFT, the Seahawks paid Harvin $19.03 million for what amounted to eight games played (three last year, five this year). The money came from a $12 million signing bonus, a $2.5 million salary in 2013, and 7/17ths of an $11 million salary in 2014 ($4.53 million).
By trading Harvin after June 1, the Seahawks will carry $1.412 million in cap space this year from his $2.4 million annual signing bonus proration. Next year, they’ll have $7.2 million in dead money attributed to Harvin.
The Jets pick up the balance of his guaranteed base salary — 10/17ths of $11 million ($6.47 million) and the non-guaranteed four additional years of his deal, at $10.5 million in 2015, $9.9 million in 2016, $9.95 million in 2017, and $11.15 million in 2018. The $47.97 million deal actually is a year-to-year arrangement, with no triggers or other devices aimed at forcing the Jets to decide what to do with Harvin before Week One of the regular season.
The Jets inherit the ability to recover bonus money paid by the Seahawks from Harvin. If he decides to not show up or to go AWOL or to retire with that $19 million he had gotten from the Seahawks for nine games, they can get back some of the $12 million the Seahawks paid upon acquiring him from the Vikings. Which could be a useful piece of leverage for the Jets.
Still, the early reaction from multiple league insiders is that the Jets made a mistake by acquiring Harvin. One league source with knowledge of and experience with both the player and his new team already has expressed pessimism, explaining that the Jets are “not a stable place.” Another source said that the Jets have “pissed away $7 million of Woody Johnson’s cash and cap space.”
“Do you know how many good players that much space can get you?” the source said. (As some Jets fans would respond, “If you don’t use it, none.”)
We’ll have more throughout the weekend regarding the reaction to and aftermath of the trade. Whatever triggered the move, it was enough to prompt the Seahawks to pay Harvin what amounted to $2.375 million for every meaningful game in which he played.