Sportress of Blogitude

Pete Carroll characterizes trade of Percy Harvin a ‘very difficult choice’


The Seattle Seahawks stunned the NFL world when it abruptly traded incredibly talented — but allegedly disruptive — wide receiver Percy Harvin in October.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, when recollecting the response to the trade of Harvin to the New York Jets by the team’s players, the media and fans, called the decision to pull the trigger on the Oct. 17 deal as a “very difficult choice” and characterized the aftermath of the trade something the team simply “had to endure.”

In addition to dealing away arguably the team’s most dangerous and dynamic offensive weapon, the fact that the Seahawks received a conditional 2015 draft pick from the Jets for a player the team exchanged three picks — including a first-rounder — with the Minnesota Vikings in 2013 only exacerbated the shocking nature of the trade.

This made the trade an even harder sell, according to Carroll.

“It was a very difficult choice,” Carroll said Monday, via the New York Post.

“It was an unpopular choice from the outside in, but it was the only choice that we could make at the time to do the right thing for us, and hopefully it’ll work out for him as well,” Carroll said. “There was a big impact of that, but we had to endure that and since we’ve come out of it, we’ve found what we were looking for really in that decision.”

Several Seahawks players reacted negatively to the trade immediately upon its announcement. An angry Marshawn Lynch reportedly “went off” upon learning about the trade and took to Twitter to profanely profess his disappointment.

But Harvin allegedly was a temperamental player and in turn reportedly became a corrosive, toxic and disruptive presence in the locker room, something that a team with championship aspirations simply cannot tolerate. Although said title aspirations means the team likely has a championship-caliber roster, making the decision to trade such a talented player a less devastating blow.

Along with trading Harvin, the Seahawks also suffered a downgrade in talent on the outside when Golden Tate signed with the Detroit Lions in the offseason, two developments that Doug Baldwin said the receivers thrived upon.

“I think we just got the negativity and the disrespect in a different way, saying we miss Percy, we miss Golden or the no-names that are out here at receiver,’’ Baldwin said Monday. “We enjoy that. It adds some motivation, it adds some flair to it and we embrace it. I’ve got a shirt underneath my sweatshirt that says ‘Pedestrians With Attitude.’ So we enjoy the label because we embrace it.’’

But in the end, the decision to jettison Harvin seems to have paid off. After struggling in his absence for a game or two immediately following the trade, the Seahawks hit their stride and now find themselves in their second-consecutive Super Bowl. While Carroll appreciates Harvin’s talents and what he brought to the team on offense and special teams, parting ways with him — in hindsight — seems to have been the wisest course of action.

“We made a big statement going after Percy and he’s an incredible football player and an amazing competitor,” Carroll said. “As it turned out, we just thought it was better for our team to move on.”

(photo credit: Ted S. Warren/AP Photo)