Former Viking receiver is being counted on to stay healthy, provide Seahawks with explosiveness, athleticism.
RENTON — Before Pete Carroll can “Win Forever” with the Seahawks he has to worry about winning now.
And no other offseason move spoke more about the urgency to take advantage of momentum built last season than the trade for receiver Percy Harvin.
The Seahawks dealt three draft picks to Minnesota, including their 2013 first-rounder, for Harvin, and then signed him to a six-year, $67 million contract. That includes a scheduled $4.9 million in 2013, and then no less than $11.2 million in every season from 2014 through 2018.
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“It’s neat to know that you are wanted,” Harvin said Monday, after completing his first organized team activity (OTA) with the Seahawks.
Harvin hadn’t known if that was the case in Minnesota, where the Vikings weren’t sure whether they wanted to make that kind of investment in him. In Minnesota, the narrative was that he was injury-prone, though he missed just 10 games in four seasons, and that he could be moody.
“He wears everybody out,” one Minnesota columnist wrote in February when the debate was raging over whether the Vikings ought to re-sign him.
Monday, though, Harvin was the picture of contentment after his first official practice with the team.
“It felt good to finally get out here,” he said. “It was great. I had a blast.”
And while it’s hard to read much from one workout without contact or pads, the Seahawks saw enough to make them think the trade might be worth it.
“His talent level is unbelievable, off the charts,” said quarterback Russell Wilson. “He brings an explosive mentality to the game, which a lot of our guys already have. But to have him is truly tremendous. He’s a guy that’s been one of the best football players in the National Football League for the past several years.”
Harvin, 24, has averaged 1,800 total yards in four seasons and was on pace for 2,400 yards in 2012 — which would have led the NFL — before an ankle injury ended his season.
In those nine games, he had 62 catches — 12 more than any Seahawk — for 677 yards. He also had 96 yards rushing and 574 yards on kickoff returns, including a 105-yard touchdown return.
The Seahawks plan to use him similarly. He’ll likely line up in the slot as his regular spot, but figures to get used outside, as well, and should see his share of handoffs and kickoff returns.
“I’ll be moving around — pretty much all around,” said the 5-foot-11, 184-pound Harvin. “There’ll be a little bit of running back coming up. But right now, we’re just trying to get the foundation set, just running the base plays, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Harvin, though, is already acquainted with the Seattle offense, another factor that enticed the Seahawks to aggressively pursue him.
During his first two years in Minnesota, the offensive coordinator was Darrell Bevell, now entering his third year in the same role with the Seahawks.
“He has jumped right into the system of things,” Carroll said of Harvin. “He already knows quite a few of the nuances and things. We’ve adjusted some things, but he’s already begun to take control of that.”
Carroll wasn’t surprised by what he saw physically from Harvin.
“Very explosive,” Carroll said. “He took the ball and turned it up a couple of times today, and he’s just lightning-fast.
“You can see why he’s such a factor catching it and running it and in the kicking game.”
For what the Seahawks invested in him, he’d better be.
SI.com, for one, named the Harvin trade the best “win now” move of the offseason, writing: “Did you see any playmakers available at No. 25 who could give the Seahawks what they’re expecting from Harvin this season?”
Harvin evades questions about what impact he could have on the team’s Super Bowl hopes.
“Everybody around here expects us to win and things like that, but we expect it out of ourselves, too,” he said. “With a good team comes a lot of talk.”
A conversation that Harvin figures to be in the middle of all season.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @bcondotta