Extra Points: Seahawks get playmaker, headache in Harvin

3:01 PM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - One day Harvard may commission a study on wide receivers and diva-like behavior.

Until then we are left to our own devices in trying to figure out why receivers like Percy Harvin act the way they do. The easy answer is money, and while the almighty dollar certainly contributed to Percy's problems in Minnesota over the past year, it can hardly be blamed for his petulant behavior at the University of Florida or his early days with the Vikings.

Harvin has always been high-maintenance and the upkeep finally became too steep for classy Vikings coach Leslie Frazier when Harvin blew up at him during a Minnesota loss at Seattle back on Nov. 4 of last year.

Interestingly enough, Pete Carroll was on the opposing sideline that day, piloting the Seahawks and watching Harvin's immaturity in living color. It obviously wasn't enough to dissuade the Seahawks' mentor from rubber-stamping Harvin's arrival in the Pacific Northwest, however.

According to FOXSports' Jay Glazer, the Vikings got Seattle's first-round pick this year -- No. 25 overall -- along with a seventh-rounder and a mid-round pick in 2014 for Harvin.

If football were played in a vacuum, this would be a no-brainer. Harvin is a a heck of a talent and one of the best playmakers in all of football, a YAC (yards after catch) machine and an absolute field-tilter as the game's best pure kickoff returner.

But the Seahawks not only acquired Harvin, they also got his reputation. They snared the moody, unpredictable man who is prone to migraine headaches. And they got the undersized, injury-prone guy who never takes his foot off the gas.

The payoff could be huge for Seattle, but the risk of upsetting the apple cart is just as high.

The Seahawks are by all reports giving Harvin his money, an offensive coordinator he's familiar with in ex-Vikings assistant Darrell Bevell as well as a better quarterback to work with in Russell Wilson. And while Marshawn Lynch is no Adrian Peterson, he's probably the closest facsimile, albeit a dim one, in the NFC.

There should be quite a honeymoon for Harvin with the Seahawks, but Carroll better win quickly because Percy's evil twin is a lot like the weather in Seattle, first comes the rain and then comes the drain.

Remember the Vikings shut Harvin down after he sprained his ankle during that same game in Seattle. They also "let him" return home and rehabilitate away from his teammates.

Sure it was a severe ankle sprain, but in reality the Vikings were trying to keep Harvin away from shell-shocked second-year quarterback Christian Ponder.

For whatever reason, Harvin was fed up with playing with Ponder and displaying that mentality on his sleeve. Since Frazier and his general manger, Rick Spielman, have hitched their wagons to Ponder, Percy was always going to be the odd man out.

The template for the true believers in Eden Prairie is Eli Manning. Peyton's baby brother looked lost during his early years in New York with strong personalities like Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey undermining him, before finally turning into a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback after the malcontents were jettisoned.

It's the classic addition by subtraction card and after the Vikings finished 5-2 and earned a playoff berth with Harvin in exile, Spielman felt empowered to double down.

When news of the trade broke, outspoken Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman may have already foreshadowed the first problem, reminding everyone who the only No. 12 is in Seattle.

The No. 12, Harvin's number in Minnesota, was retired by Seattle to honor its 12th man fan base.

"Well if does come I think he understands that he won't get to wear the #12." Sherman Tweeted.

Perhaps, but Harvin won't understand why the Seahawks can't make an exception for him.

In the end, it's highly unlikely the Vikings will acquire a playmaker similar to Harvin in free agency or with the first-round pick they got for him, but they are counting on finding a solid citizen or two intent on helping Ponder develop, perhaps at some cost to themselves.

Carroll, on the other hand, is convinced he will be the one who can finally handle Percy, all the while dreaming about an offense filled with big-play talent.

Call this one character versus hubris and we'll see the winner in the postseason.

The Sports Network

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