When the Seattle Seahawks traded Percy Harvin back in October, some critics thought they were crazy.
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How could a team trade such a versatile, athletic player and get almost nothing in return?
It seemingly came out of nowhere to those outside of the organization, but reports came out later that his attitude may have been a problem in the locker room, which could have led to his trade.
But still, critics said, he was needed to replace Golden Tate as Seattle’s No. 1 receiver and biggest deep ball threat.
Well, while his explosiveness was nice to have when playing Madden NFL 15, his skillset was misused in the real-life Seattle — and the Seahawks have proved in each of the past two years that they play better without him.
Let’s start with last season.
Harvin was hurt nearly the entire season. He played in one regular season game, and the Seahawks went 13-3.
He missed half of the NFC Divisional game, and the Seahawks won without him.
He missed the entire NFC Championship game, and the Seahawks won without him.
And while he played in much of the Super Bowl, the Seahawks got to that point without him and probably could have won it without him too.
Sep 14, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin (11) runs for a touchdown during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
All in all, he made a very minute impact on the Seahawks first Super Bowl winning season.
Then came the 2014-15 campaign, and pundits said Harvin was needed for the Seahawks to have any hope of getting back to the Super Bowl.
He was productive on special teams, but didn’t have any breakout games with Seattle early in the year.
He never had more than 59 receiving yards, nor more than 45 rushing yards. Misused in a variety of jet sweeps and screen passes, Darrell Bevell never developed a clear role for Harvin and Harvin’s disinterest in the utility-man project leaked into the locker room.
The Seahawks went 3-2 with Harvin on the team but are 6-2 since trading him, losing those games by a combined six points.
Now Harvin’s absence isn’t the only reason the team has gotten better, but Lynch has started getting more carries and re-obtained his role as the anchor of the offense and I don’t think Russell Wilson has felt more obligated to get the ball in the hands of one receiver.
Again, there are a number of reasons the Seahawks are 9-4 right now instead of something much worse.
The defense is back to where it was last season after starting slow and the team has an overall confidence and swagger that was lost after a slow start.
But getting Harvin out of the locker room and off the field seemed to have an even bigger effect on this team than was once thought.
And because of that, at least partially, the Seahawks are a better team and in prime position to defend their Super Bowl championship.