Percy Harvin is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL. He’s so talented, in fact, that the Seattle Seahawks traded three draft picks to get him in 2003 from the Minnesota Vikings, then signed him to a massive extension with $25.5 million in guaranteed money.
With all that in mind, it came as a shock Friday afternoon when the defending Super Bowl champions traded Harvin to the struggling New York Jets for a conditional draft pick. The deal, first reported by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, is complete pending Harvin passing a physical.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Seahawks Will Get A Conditional Draft Pick for Harvin
The Seahawks will receive a conditional 2015 draft pick from the Jets that will range from a second-rounder to a fourth-rounder, according to ESPN’s John Clayton.
The return isn’t great considering that Seattle gave up three picks to get Harvin, including their first-rounder in 2013.
2. Harvin Was Creating Significant Chemistry Issues & Wanted to Be Traded
Multiple outlets reported that Harvin was creating significant chemistry problems and was unhappy in Seattle. The NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport reported that the team had been shopping Harvin for several weeks.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King was also among those weighing in on the chemistry issues surrounding Harvin.
It’s not the first time Harvin was worn out his welcome with a team, leading to a trade.
From the ESPN report in 2013 on the trade from Minnesota to Seattle:
Harvin’s relationship with the Vikings quickly grew from one of trust and respect for drafting him after he plummeted down the board in 2009 to much more volatile heading into last season. He requested a trade in June because he was not pleased with his contract and his role in the offense. Coach Leslie Frazier was able to smooth things over before training camp began, but Harvin quickly grew upset during the season with quarterback Christian Ponder’s erratic passing and the team’s inconsistent play on offense.
3. The Jets Are 1-6
After Thursday night’s loss at New England, the Jets are 1-6 and have lost five straight after winning their season opener. Harvin gives them a dynamic offensive threat, but New York’s offense has struggled mightily with second-year quarterback Geno Smith under center, and the Jets will likely need to win eight of their final nine games — a virtually impossible task given the way they’re playing — to have a shot at a playoff berth.
Coach Rex Ryan (pictured), who led Gang Green to the AFC Championship Game in his first two seasons but has missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons, has acknowledged he’s likely to be fired at the end of the season if the Jets don’t turn things around.
4. The Jets Owe Harvin $7 Million This Year
The Jets owe Harvin $7 million this year — a prorated portion of the $11 million guaranteed by his contract with Seattle. But Harvin is owed no guaranteed money beyond this year.
The sixth-year target is due $41.5 million over the remainder of a four-year pact that runs through 2018. With none of that money guaranteed beyond this year’s $11 million price tag, though, Rapoport characterized the move as a “tryout” for Harvin. The pass-catcher essentially has nine games to prove to Jets general manager John Idzik that he deserves to stick around.
5. Harvin Barely Played Last Year & Has No Touchdowns This Year
Harvin played in only one regular season game last year after undergoing hip surgery, though he did have one memorable play: An 87-yard touchdown return on the second-half kickoff of Seattle’s 43-8 thrashing of the Broncos in the Super Bowl.
His production this year was minimal.
This season, Harvin has 22 receptions for 133 yards, with 12 of those catches coming behind the line of scrimmage. He has only one catch on a ball thrown more than 10 yards, according to STATS. Harvin’s average of 6 yards per catch is last among all wide receivers in the NFL averaging at least two receptions per game.