Nearly four days removed from the trade that sent receiver Percy Harvin from Seattle to the Jets, several confusing issues remain.
For example, if the Seahawks had become sufficiently fed up with Harvin that they would have cut him if they couldn’t have traded him, why didn’t they try to maximize their otherwise minimal return on the investment? The easy answer is that they wanted to steer Harvin to a non-contender, a team that the Seahawks would be unlikely to face down the road, especially in the postseason. And with the Jets at 1-6, there’s little risk that the Seahawks would encounter Harvin on February 1 in Arizona. (Especially since Seattle will now have a hard time getting there.)
But the Seahawks reportedly called the Broncos about a deal that would have sent Harvin to Denver for tight end Julius Thomas. So contending teams weren’t out of the question.
As AFC contenders go, the Patriots would have been the most intriguing choice. Given Bill Belichick’s friendship with former Florida coach Urban Meyer, Belichick’s history of taking chances on receivers like Chad Ochocinco and Randy Moss, and the team’s clear need for playmakers on offense, the Patriots could have been drawn into a bidding war with the Jets for the kind of versatile weapon Belichick would love to have. Which could have gotten the Jets more than a sixth-round pick that only becomes a fourth-round pick if Harvin remains on the Jets’ roster in 2015.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Seahawks didn’t talk to the Patriots about a possible Harvin trade. It’s not known what the Patriots would have said, or whether they at a minimum would have feigned interest to get the Jets to give up more. Regardless, it looks like the Seahawks were so intent to get rid of Harvin before the possibility of trading him leaked that they ended up doing a deal that wasn’t as good as it maybe could have been.
That’s not a knock on the Seahawks. It merely demonstrates that, once they knew they were moving on, they moved quickly and decisively, possibly to avoid the distractions that would come from a week of two of rumors and reports regarding the possibility that Harvin would be traded. It also shows that, for whatever reason, they decided not to do business with the Patriots.
Maybe the best explanation is that coach Pete Carroll, the last coach fired by owner Bob Kraft before Bill Belichick was hired, didn’t want to do anything to help the Patriots get better.