Percy Harvin trade: High price of business

March, 11, 2013
3/11/13
2:16
PM ET
The Seattle Seahawks are sending their 2013 first- and seventh-round draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings for receiver Percy Harvin, according to Fox's Jay Glazer. The deal could also include a future selection.

That means the Seahawks are trading cheap labor as represented by draft choices for the right to overpay an established player from another team. This generally is not a good trade-off, especially for a team that has drafted as well as Seattle has drafted. However, Harvin is a special talent. He is also just 24 years old. That combination could justify the exception Seattle made in closing this deal.

Seattle holds the 25th choice of the first round. The team drafted offensive tackle James Carpenter in that slot two years ago. Any team would rather have Harvin than Carpenter or the equivalent of Carpenter, but that is a simplistic way of looking at the situation.

The Seahawks have drafted four Pro Bowl players over the past three seasons. All four are under contract at low cost. Drafting another Pro Bowl-caliber player at low cost would beat paying top dollar for a player with some potentially serious question marks. Harvin has been injured. He was often unhappy in Minnesota. The Vikings traded Harvin presumably because they weren't interested in meeting his contract demands.

The Vikings should feel good about getting strong value for a player they might have lost or failed to maximize. This deal looks like a win for Seattle, as well.

Harvin, who turns 25 in May, gives an already-dangerous Seattle offense another dimension. I doubt Seattle's NFC West rivals are excited about this deal. They would probably rather prepare for the 25th pick in the draft than prepare for Harvin, who is a threat to score as a receiver, runner or kickoff returner. Harvin has 20 touchdowns as a receiver, four as a runner and five as a kick returner.

Seattle, best known for building its defense through the draft, has now put together its offensive weaponry largely from other teams' rosters.

Running back Marshawn Lynch was acquired from Buffalo. Receiver Sidney Rice was signed from Minnesota in free agency. Tight end Zach Miller was signed from Oakland, also in free agency. Fullback Michael Robinson was a free-agent addition from San Francisco. Now comes Harvin. Quarterback Russell Wilson's already bright prospects just got brighter.

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