Percy Harvin suddenly is Seattle’s Most Interesting Man.
To hear Pete Carroll and John Schneider tell it, Harvin put the first set of jeans on Smokey Bear, outwitted Steven Colbert and advised Pope Benedict it was time, and don’t worry about the never-in-600-years thing.
“Highly unique,” said Schneider. Indeed, Harvin must be something special – Carroll said he’s been recruiting him since high school seven years ago. Carroll spent only a year on Reggie Bush.
But now Carroll is capable of paying Harvin a little more than USC paid Bush: six years and $67 million, with his $2.5 million salary in 2013 and $12 million bonus guaranteed, plus another $11 million guaranteed after the season, per profootballtalk.com.
While we in Seattle can swagger about saying that makes him only half-a-Hernandez, it’s still pretty good for a guy who has yet to play a complete NFL season and has been labeled in various media accounts as a head case, time bomb and diva during his four-year stint in Minnesota.
Character issues have a way of blending into the roar surrounding a winning team. And the Seahawks were 12-6 last year and 30 seconds away from the NFC title game. So news of the acquisition of Harvin – receiver, running back, kickoff returner and the primary figurative aneurysm for San Francisco coach and noted neurotic Jim Harbaugh – has added to the roar in the fashion of an Aleutian windstorm.
At a guaranteed $25.5 million to one player among 53 for one season of 2013, this deal can’t be more in the moment than the period at the end of this sentence.
Beat. The. 49ers.
Twice, three times if necessary, in 2013.
That is the deal for one of the most dramatic trades in Seahawks history, a first-rounder and a seventh-rounder from the April draft, and a third-rounder from the 2014 draft, plus the magnum cash. And this from a franchise that guards its draft picks like Lance Armstrong used to guard his medicine kit.
“Stop it,” said Schneider, smiling, when a reporter counted down the treasure surrendered at a press conference Tuesday at team headquarters. “I understand why you would look at the compensation. But this is a highly unique player. If you place Percy in this draft, there would be some pretty strong arguments of how high he would go, and it would be pretty darn high.
“We’re sitting at 25th (in the first round) and for us to be able to even move up five spots it would take probably a third-round draft pick. Really, this is kind of a slam dunk for us.”
Carroll was as righteously convinced about Harvin as he has been about any acquisition in his Seahawks tenure.
“There is not a football player that we could find that would compete more and battle more than this guy right here,” he said, pointing to his tablemate. “He’ll fit right in with us.”
Harvin has had sideline clashes with his previous coach, Brad Childress, and the current Vikings coach, Leslie Frazier. He had moments of insubordination with his college coach, Urban Meyer, at Florida. And he thought the Vikings’ current QB, Christian Ponder, wasn’t very good, and said so. There were many in the Twin Cities who agreed, but they weren’t paid to be his teammate.
So yes, Harvin has accumulated a lot of baggage for one who won’t be 25 until May. On the other hand, he is now rich beyond even his published demands, has a coach who has liked him since his junior prom in Virginia Beach, Va., and will be given almost as many touches of the ball as Kobe Bryant.
And he gets to play catch with Russell Wilson, probably the biggest reason the Seahawks felt good about going deep for Harvin.
Stay thirsty, Seahawks friends.
Pro Bowl returner Leon Washington was released Thursday. He was set to count $2.87 million toward the cap.