The Seattle Seahawks made the second big trade during the NFL offseason, acquiring explosive, but controversial wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings for multiple draft picks on Monday, according to sources that spoke to ESPN.com.
The trade comes a couple weeks after the 49ers agreed to send quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs, giving the team an option for a starter and allowing head coach Andy Reid to focus on the draft. The trade of Smith and the deal for Harvin leaves Seattle backup quarterback Matt Flynn as one of the most attractive players left to acquire, as he was supplanted by Russell Wilson last season.
The Seahawks now have two dynamic receivers in Harvin and Sidney Rice and a dynamic young quarterback in Wilson, but they also have a high-priced backup, as Flynn signed a three-year deal prior to last season, thinking he would be starting. Flynn was beaten out in training camp by Wilson and he made the most of his opportunity, taking the Seahawks to the playoffs after leading them to an 11-5 record and nearly winning the NFC West.
Wilson was so good that Flynn never got a shot on the field and the Harvin trade only magnifies his trade value, as the Seahawks would love to get some picks back in the draft after sending Minnesota a 2013 first-round draft choice and other picks. Harvin still needs to agree to a new contract with the team before a deal can be made, but if it does go through, he will be in familiar territory.
Harvin has connections to Sidney Rice, who was his former teammate, as well as to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who was in the same position with the Vikings back in 2009 when he was a first round draft pick. The trade for Harvin now leaves Seattle a bit weaker in the draft in April, but stronger on the field as now they have someone that can score nearly every time they touch the ball.
Even though the deal isn't official, cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted: "Welcome to the Team bruh @Percy_Harvin ... Happy to have ya," he wrote.
Flynn is still on the roster and the team would need to bring in a new backup if he is traded, but he could give good value to the Seahawks, as he showed in his few chances in Green Bay that he could sling the ball, setting a team record with six touchdowns and 480 passing yards. The Jets could be in contention for Flynn, as could the Arizona Cardinals, who had one of the worst seasons in the NFL offensively, as they got barely any production from Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley.
The Seahawks embarrassed the Cardinals in a 58-0 win and now the team could get something back for that if they trade for Flynn. He could give head coach Bruce Arians a fresh start and although he did not get his chance in Seattle, Arizona could be the place where he shines. Flynn could also be an option in Cleveland as well as in Jacksonville, although they have appeared to be comfortable going forward with Blaine Gabbert.
Flynn's contract could make it hard to trade him, but the team could get by with just a $4 million cap hit if they deal him, rather than the $7.25 million it counts for 2013. With the quarterback market dry after Matt Moore signed with the Dolphins, teams may feel that with Smith off the market as well, Flynn is the best option among Jason Campbell, David Carr and Derek Anderson.
Seattle ranked 27th in passing yards last season and third in rushing and the addition of Harvin will definitely help the passing game with Wilson. Flynn could help a team down the line and could be insurance in case Wilson gets hurt, but Pete Carroll knows how to deal and he could get some draft picks in return if someone who shows some interest in Flynn. Oakland could be prime spot for Flynn to land if they decide to move on from Carson Palmer.