With the Giants down Victor Cruz for this season and possibly part of next, many Giant fans may be wondering this morning why their team did not try to land Seattle Seahawks KR/WR Percy Harvin when his availability became known. Instead, it was the Jets who swung the deal.
The Giants are in need of a top WR, no doubt, but there are a bunch of reasons for the Giants to pass on Harvin.
First off, let's talk about the positives the Seahawks realized by dealing him. Harvin was a cancer that was blowing up team chemistry. He was just as volatile a weapon off the field as he was on it. He "wasn't a fit" according to sources and the Seattle Times is reporting on a long litany of ills involving Harvin, including blackening the eye of teammate Golden Tate before last year's Super Bowl (Seattle Times, Oct.17).
Harvin also has a propensity for getting or being injured. After playing in 45 of the first 48 games of his career, which began in Minnesota in 2009, Harvin played only nine games in 2012 and then hip surgery held him to only one regular season game after being traded to Seattle in 2013. This year, the Seahawks vowed to keep him healthy, but his attitude was worsening (he refused to take the field in the Seahawks' final drive last week) and a recent thigh injury was threatening to keep him out this week.
The Seahawks, who signed Harvin to a six-year, $67 million contract in March of 2012 (of which $25.5 million was guaranteed), decided it was time to cut it's losses. He is still owed approximately $7 million for this season, which is guaranteed, and his cap numbers for the next four years read as follows: 2015: $10.5 million, 2016: $9.9 million, 2017: $9.95 million, 2018: $11.15 million. In short, Harvin wasn't worth keeping.
For the Giants, who have approximately $8.9 million in cap space, trading for Harvin would not only chew up that cushion but create cap issues going forward. Plus, they would not trade a mid-round draft choice for an oft-injured, overpaid prima donna who is by many accounts a "ticking time bomb."
Talent-wise, he would be a perfect fit. He'd bolster the WR corp as well as give them a gamebreaker in the return game. But let's be realistic. With the Giants focusing on leadership-type players, Harvin is a player the Giants make a point of steering clear of. Under the new "knuckleheads need not apply" edict at QDTC these days, he's not an option.
My take is that the Seahawks thought that Harvin could give them that extra dimension, and they were right, initially. He helped them win a Super Bowl, but he's not a team player. It's been written the Seahawks have been shopping him for awhile and, with that heavy price tag, had few - if any - takers until they were able to unload him on old friend John Idzik and the 1-6 Jets, who are doing everything they can to change the narrative on their dismal start to the season.
It's also possible that Seattle did not want Harvin in their immediate path. They not only wanted to trade him out of the conference, they wanted to trade him to a losing team with expendable cap space in the AFC that they won't face for a few years. No team fits that destination better than the Jets, who are 1-6, have over $24 million in cap space and don't play the Seahawks in the regular season until 2016.