Percy Harvin provides another set of versatile, productive hands

Posted Jun 26, 2013

When the Seahawks decided to acquire Percy Harvin in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings, they knew his diverse skills would be a good match with those provided by Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin.

In four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Percy Harvin did a little bit of everything and a whole lot of some things.

He caught 280 passes in 54 games for 3,302 yards and 20 touchdowns. He returned five kickoffs for touchdowns, while averaging 27.9 yards on 114 returns. He averaged 6.4 yards while carrying the ball 107 times. He kept many a defensive coordinator up at night while trying to devise ways to contain everything that he brings.


Wide receivers on the 90-man roster: 14

Wide receivers carried on the 53-man roster last season: five, with two on the practice squad

Incumbent starters: Split end Golden Tate, flanker Sidney Rice, slot receiver Doug Baldwin

Incumbent backup: Jermaine Kearse

Finished last season on injured reserve: Charly Martin

On the practice squad last season: Phil Bates, Bryan Walters

Veteran acquired in a trade: Percy Harvin

Veteran free agents added: Brett Swain, Stephen Williams

Draft choice: Chris Harper (fourth round)

Rookie free agents: Arceto Clark, Greg Herd, Justin Veltung

Keep an eye on: Harvin. His arrival makes the entire unit stronger, and should make life somewhat easier for Tate and Rice as the former Viking will draw some of the double coverage that went their way last season. Harvin also will become the Seahawks’ equivalent to Where’s Waldo? He is primarily a slot receiver, but Harvin will be used in several roles and line up and motion into various spots. Baldwin, who led the team in receptions as a rookie free agent in 2011, is healthy and had a solid offseason after an injury plagued sophomore season. He provides the flexibility that comes from having two productive slot receivers. The big question that remains: Who claims the fifth and possibly sixth roster spots? Harper has had a strong spring and, despite his limited time at the position, hasn’t looked like a former quarterback learning new tricks. Another question: Can Kearse become this generation’s Ben Obomanu, a receiver who makes the roster because of his special-teams efforts and then makes plays when given an opportunity in the passing game?

We asked Harvin, who was obtained by the Seahawks in a March trade for three draft choices, to shoulder a new role: Scout.

Here’s his take on the top three receivers he has joined – flanker Sidney Rice, who led the Seahawks in receptions (50) and receiving yards (748) last season and previously played with Harvin in Minnesota; split end Golden Tate, a second-round draft choice in 2010 who last season put up career-best numbers in receptions (45), receiving yards (688) and touchdowns (seven, to tie Rice for the team lead); and slot receiver Doug Baldwin, who was the team’s leading receiver as a rookie free agent in 2011.

Harvin on Rice: “Having played with Sidney, he’s going to make that spectacular catch. He’s known for making that big sideline catch and still getting two feet down. Or on that deep post, jumping over two guys to get the ball. That’s what he’s known for here, and definitely when he was in Minnesota.”

Harvin on Tate: “Golden is just that big play waiting to happen. It’s not always going to look perfect. He may not always run the right route at the right depth, but when that ball is in the air and when you call his number to make that play, he’s going to make it. When I first came here and was watching film, some of the catches he made last year – like against Chicago – those are big-time catches in big-time moments. That’s ‘Showtime Tate.’ That name fits him very well. I can see exactly how he earned that nickname, because all his catches are by going between two guys or over two guys; just making a spectacular catch.”

Harvin on Baldwin: “Doug is more similar to me, in the fact that he’s very quick, very shifty, smaller. So he actually reminds me a lot of myself. We’ll be in a meeting watching him run a route and the coach will get on him. Then I say, ‘That’s exactly how I would run it.’ So we kind of think the same and I can see a lot of me in him.”

Add Harvin to this show of hands that produced 124 receptions last season and it comprises to the best quartet of wide-outs in franchise history. Darrell Jackson, Koren Robinson and Bobby Engram had some productive seasons last decade, but lacked a productive fourth. It was the same with Steve Largent, Darrell Turner and Paul Skansi in the mid-80s; and Joey Galloway, Brian Blades and Mike Pritchard in the late-90s.

“It’s been great working with these guys,” Harvin said. “We have a lot of fun off the field. We’re always hanging out at Sid’s house and having fun. So it’s a good group.”