In an interview with Peter King of Sports Illustrated, Seattle general manager John Schneider (better known as “the other John Schneider” to Dukes of Hazzard fans) made one thing clear to those questioning the motivation for the Vikings trading Percy Harvin: The Vikings set the parameters for the trade and initiated contact.
In the King interview, Schneider said that, when first made aware Harvin was available in trade, his initial reaction was “absolutely no” in terms of the Seahawks acquiring Harvin.
While the basis of the story centered on the Seahawks raising the bar on what they are willing to pay a player they desperately covet, one relatively unreported portion of the saga was that the buzz on a Harvin trade had “multiple teams” expressing an interest, according to NFL.com. Initially, Seattle wasn’t one of them. The Seahawks ended up being the landing spot. Schneider laid out the process under which the Harvin trade went down.
To go CSI on the interview, Schneider’s initial balking at the idea of a Harvin trade made it clear that the trade talks were initiated by the Vikings. Instead of Seattle saying, “we’ll offer this, this and this for Percy,” it was apparent that the Vikings were setting the parameters of what they would accept as compensation for Harvin.
As a form of background information as to what changed Schneider’s mind about Harvin, it was pointed out that his relationship with the Vikings was “poisonous,” dating back to a fracturing of the Harvin-Vikings relationship during the Brad Childress days. While Viking Update has speculated that one of the reasons for Harvin’s disgruntlement was that, growing up, there were a handful of people Harvin idolized. One was Brett Favre. One was Randy Moss. Neither one got along particularly well with Chilly. The “poisonous” line makes sense when being reported from the outside by another franchise doing its “due diligence.”
In the end, there is a growing sentiment that, despite losing one of the NFL’s few pure difference-makers, the financial reality of the Harvin unhappiness is that the Vikings got as much as they possibly could for a player who didn’t want to stay. If the Vikings use one of their two first-round picks on a wide receiver, the salary cap implications for that player and Greg Jennings will be the same amount Seattle is paying Harvin. There is a downside to trading Harvin, but there were many extraneous factors – as wordsmiths broke down the differentiation between the phrases “no intent” and “no intention” as it pertained to moving Harvin, the real information will come out in dribs and drabs in the coming months and years. About the only thing owners and players agree upon is, when possible, you keep turmoil in-house – the opposite is having your turmoil outhouse (and that’s never good).
Whether he intended to pull back the curtain on the Harvin unrest, Schneider pulled it back far enough that someone noticed the man behind the curtain. The Harvin trade was orchestrated by the Vikings, according to Schneider’s version. With the “multiple team” reference in the story, it’s clear that a coded message was sent from Winter Park that Harvin was available … for the right price.
From the “Keep Your Eyes Open” Department comes this: Tuesday was a quiet day by free agency terms, with one notable exception. At the owners meetings in Arizona, it was “leaked” that the Chiefs and Browns both have an interest in West Virginia QB Geno Smith. Really? The Chiefs traded for Alex Smith and gave New Orleans backup Chase Daniel 1998 starter money knowing that, if things work out, he’ll expend more energy on Wednesdays endorsing serious checks than he will on Sundays. In the last two years. The Browns used a first-round pick on Brandon Weeden and still have third-year bust Colt McCoy under contract. The Browns have two QB strikes on them already. Welcome to the Land of Lies. The national fish is the red herring. Geno Smith will come off the board in the top nine picks. Who makes that pick? Let us know if you know. The market for that pick just got ramped up. Neither Kansas City nor Cleveland should have any interest in drafting Smith – even though the Browns are going to foot the tab for a private workout. They’re putting Smith suitors on notice. It could end up being a happy accident for Jacksonville, who unwittingly could end up getting a ransom of picks at No. 2 if the Chiefs’ puffery is seen for what it is.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.