Wide receiver Percy Harvin is kind of a jerk.
That's the impression that the Seattle Times paints during an essay that reviewed his eventual downfall, which led to Friday's (seemingly out of left field) transaction. Seattle traded Harvin to the Jets, who will absorb his $6.4 million salary this season, for a conditional pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Per Bob Condotta and Jayson Jenks with the Seattle Times:
Sources also said a few incidents in recent months helped set the stage for Friday’s stunning trade.
One source confirmed a report that Harvin had gotten into an altercation with former Seahawk Golden Tate before the Super Bowl that resulted in Tate getting a black eye.
A source also said Harvin had an altercation with Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin in the week leading up to the final exhibition game this August at Oakland that resulted in Baldwin getting a cut on his chin and each player being excused from practices that week. Harvin, who did not practice for two days before that game, did not make the trip to Oakland for what the team said at the time was "a personal matter."
According to Lance Zierlein, quarterback Russell Wilson called out Harvin for his bad attitude, which led to a confrontation between the two players. According to Pro Football Talk, there was growing concern that Harvin could lead to a mutiny again Wilson, of all people.
As one source explained it to PFT on Friday evening, the Seahawks possibly feared that Harvin had sufficient influence over enough of the locker room to launch a mutiny against quarterback Rusell Wilson, who despite not yet getting a franchise-quarterback contract possibly has become the target of some resentment among players who don’t share his complete devotion to the game, and who regard the third-year quarterback as a player-coach.
This comes less than two years after Harvin was traded from Minnesota because the Vikings "grew tired of Harvin complaining about (Vikings quarterback Christian) Ponder." OK, so everyone was really complaining about Ponder. But, you still shouldn't expect that from your teammates. Per Ian Rapoport, because Harvin wasn't the "easiest person to deal with" in the lockerroom, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell "struggled to integrate him" into the game plan.
Hopefully for those of you who wanted Cincinnati to pull off something like this, just remember that it's not necessarily about talent or even cost. Harvin has the type of personality that could divide a locker room, and after getting rid of the Carson Palmer-Chad Johnson era Bengals, why would we want to go back to that.
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