When the Seahawks spent a fourth round pick on wide receiver Chris Harper this offseason it seemed like John Schneider and Pete Carroll had found yet another draft day steal. His combination of strength and athleticism appeared to make him a perfect fit for the Seahawks. The fact that he was able to transition from quarterback to receiver after transferring from Oregon to Kansas State during his college career only added to the belief in his potential.
Unfortunately, the emergence of Stephen Williams (it seemed like he only caught 50+ yard passes this preseason) and Jermaine Kearse (it seemed like he was everywhere this preseason) Chris Harper wasn’t able to survive the Seahawks final roster cuts. However, based on his already established potential the Seahawks definitely wanted to lock Harper down for their practice squad. That’s about the point when a familiar NFC West rival came into play.
While the Seahawks were prepared to give Harper a spot on the practice squad, the 49ers made room for him on their 53 man roster. It made sense for the 49ers to be looking for added depth at the receiver position based on their injury troubles this offseason. In particular, the loss of Michael Crabtree has put added pressure on Anquan Boldin and company to perform well as they near week one of the regular season.
While it hurts to lose a player of Harper’s caliber, it hurts more to give one of Seattle’s biggest rivals a player with insider information on the Seahawks. It might not have been intentional, but it seemed like Seattle and San Francisco were doing a good job of keeping their personnel from transferring sides.
Who knows how much useful information Harper might be able to provide the 49ers in the next couple weeks leading up to their showdown with the Seahawks. Perhaps the 49ers just wanted to add a young receiver with big potential to their team. Either way, the rivalry between the Seahawks and 49ers just added another chapter. At this point, War and Peace seems like a pamphlet compared to this book.