Percy Harvin’s trade to Seattle from Minnesota may have come as somewhat of a shock to many, however, the writing was on the wall.
Sure, Harvin is ultra-talented with a rare speed and skills, but he had little to do with Minnesota’s playoff run down the stretch. He missed Minnesota’s last seven games of the 2012 season, a period where the Vikings went 5-2. While Harvin was healthy through the first nine games, Minnesota went 5-4.
His role was filled during the second half of the season by rookie wideout Jarius Wright. Wright was a prolific college player while at Arkansas who drew comparisons to Harvin during his collegiate career.
In Harvin’s absence Wright hauled in 22 passes for 310 yards — over three yards more per reception than Harvin averaged over the first nine games. Wright also found the end zone twice during that span compared to Harvin’s three scores.
Wright is the same type of athlete who can run the same plays out of the backfield as well as be the return threat that Harvin was — not to mention he has consistently been clocked faster than Harvin in the 40 throughout his career.
Basically, the numbers and their skills tell me that Wright made Harvin expendable, especially given the ridiculous thought that Harvin had — claiming to be worth as much as Calvin Johnson. This would have only been more trouble and headache for the Viking administration down the road.
Harvin was due to make $2.755 million in 2013. Wright will make $480,000 and will not earn over $2.7 million combined before his current contract runs out after 2015, making him a huge bargain.
This was a savvy move by the Vikings, both from a business standpoint as well as on the playing field. The Vikings receiving corps was always going to need to be rebuilt and restocked, with or without Percy Harvin. Jarius Wright’s presence and potential essentially made that task much easier.
The fact that the Vikings took a 1st, 7th, and mid-round draft pick in 2014 from Seattle and dumped off Harvin’s contract and baggage on the Seahawks cannot be construed as anything other than a best-case scenario for Minnesota.
Seattle still isn’t can’t be sure how Percy Harvin will fit into their offense. Minnesota already knows exactly how Jarius Wright will fit into theirs.
BY J.P. SCOTT ON MARCH 13, 2013