Two NFL trades spark debate

March, 11, 2013
3/11/13
5:15
PM ET
And this is why the NFL is king.

It's March, there won't be regular-season games for another six months, and what is generating some of the biggest buzz in the sports landscape? The NFL, of course.

Monday's trades -- receiver Percy Harvin from Minnesota to Seattle and receiver Anquan Boldin from Baltimore to San Francisco -- have naturally generated passionate discussion. These are big deals.

From a Patriots perspective, taking Boldin off the Ravens roster has to be considered a win. Sure, he's slowing down a bit, but anyone who watched him in the playoffs saw a difference-maker. This hurts the Ravens, who looked ready to release Boldin because of financial considerations, but from their viewpoint at least they get a sixth-round pick out of it.

It does make one wonder if the Patriots could have gotten into the mix, but the first thought from here is that the Ravens would have had the Patriots at the bottom of the list in terms of trade partners. Why make one of your top competitors stronger? It's the same reason why the Patriots wouldn't consider trading offensive lineman Brian Waters to the Texans last season.

Specific to Boldin, I also have doubts that the Patriots would have wanted to absorb a $6 million salary in 2013 with other business to tend to this offseason (e.g. Wes Welker, Aqib Talib etc.).

Summing up thoughts on the two deals, I like the Seahawks-Vikings trade for both clubs. The Seahawks get a difference-maker, making one of the NFL's most exciting teams that much more exciting. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck used to joke that playing in Seattle is sometimes like being in the witness protection program because of its location, but the Seahawks are making it hard to ignore them with what they've put together in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, the Vikings needed to move on from Harvin -- the situation had run its course -- and they reportedly get solid value for him.

On Boldin, it's another reminder of how economics drive decisions. Should the Ravens have kept Boldin at $6 million? Fair question. Moving on from Boldin is the type of bold, unpopular move that Bill Belichick has been lauded for in the past, so the idea is to reserve judgment at this time and give the defending Super Bowl champions the benefit of the doubt.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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