When the Seattle Seahawks acquired Pro-Bowl wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings via trade prior to the 2013 season, fans across the Pacific Northwest generously applauded the franchise’s bold move. After all, the chance to obtain an All-Pro caliber talent like Harvin often comes just once in a lifetime, regardless of asking price. Yet even still, the Seahawks front office managed to pull off the blockbuster trade, landing a legitimate difference-maker on offense.
Then, Harvin proceeded to miss 15 of 16 regular season games – as well as every playoff game up to the Super Bowl – in his first year with Seattle which drastically altered the court of public opinion. Harvin was labeled brittle — a player capable of timely greatness, but one who is ultimately a health risk. Unfortunately, even Harvin’s spectacular kickoff return for a touchdown in the Super Bowl couldn’t completely set minds at ease.
Eventually, Harvin’s health-status reignited the question of what if? What if the dynamic receiver had stayed completely healthy? How much better could the dominating Seahawks have been? All are legitimate questions worth asking.
Obviously nobody in Seattle will dwell too much on the difficulties of last year. After all, the Lombardi Trophy is residing in Washington state for the first time in NFL history thanks in part to Harvin’s 2014 contributions (no matter how minor). Yet, some fans are rightfully questioning the $11 million annual salary being paid to a player with two career games as a Seahawk under his belt.
Clearly no one will doubt the former Florida Gator‘s flair for the dramatic. In fact, his talents in the open-field may be second to none, but despite all of his potential for greatness, it’s still impossible to tell what Seattle is capable of with a healthy Harvin at their disposal. Making things worse is the fact that head coach Pete Carroll recently informed the media of his intention to rest their highest-paid receiver as often as possible throughout the year.
That likely includes training camp and possibly even preseason games, giving Seahawk fans a disappointing bout of deja vu. While Seattle’s front office has expressed their excitement over Harvin’s return to form as a dynamic speedster, they also made it abundantly clear that they have no intention of pushing the Pro-Bowler into the thick of things too early.
It’s a plan that sounds all too familiar to the 12th Man. Just like last season, fans realize their receiver is very capable of keeping defensive coordinators up at night, but of course that only works if Harvin can stay in the lineup. In order to do that, he must develop some sort of chemistry with Seahawks franchise quarterback Russell Wilson, which won’t happen unless Harvin stays on the field.
Therefore, in addition to continuing his physical therapy – as well as his own training routine – coach Carroll will employ his own method of attempting to maintain Harvin’s health. He plans to keep the speedster from practicing more than two days in a row throughout the entire course of the season. This way, the Seahawks might have more to show for their $11 million check than a handful of returns and fewer than five catches. Of course, as long as they can keep the Lombardi Trophy, Seattle may be willing to overlook their unsightly payroll mishap.