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Green Lantern: Idzik Deserves A Gold Star For Bringing Harvin To The Jets

By Jeff Capellini
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There's a common misconception about the Percy Harvin trade that needs to be cleared up before we can all move forward.

The Jets did not trade for the incredibly talented, yet problematic wide receiver to save their season. The move was done to give the Jets options this upcoming offseason, not to somehow jump-start an unrealistic nine-game winning streak to get this team into the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Granted, if by some miracle that does happen, general manager "Lord" John Idzik will no longer be branded as the clueless wonder so many think he is. Instead, he'll be labeled as some kind of a freakish super genius.

"I don't think it's too late," Idzik said Monday of the potential impact Harvin could make with the Jets, who at 1-6 are already all but eliminated from postseason contention.

Trust me, he knows it's too late for this season.

An epic winning streak was not his intended goal when he sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks on Friday for Harvin, an all-world talent who may just one day be the game-breaking wideout the Jets have lacked since Wesley Walker and Al Toon paraded around on the turf at Giants Stadium.

When he isn't reportedly knocking out teammates and pulling himself from games, things he offered to explain to the Jets upon arriving in Florham Park, but was told was unnecessary, Harvin is about as explosive a player as you will find in the NFL. As we saw in last season's Super Bowl, he is a bona fide game-changer. He can get behind a defense. He can make his way through traffic. He can take handoffs and run around and away from everyone. He can take kickoffs the distance.

There's really nothing he can't do when healthy and used correctly.

The Seahawks are a smash-mouth football team. They prefer to give the ball to Marshawn Lynch, use their tight ends and unheralded receivers in a ball-control passing game and let the brilliant Russell Wilson improvise. What they don't do, really, is consistently throw 40 times a game, which is understandable considering they like to set a tone, rather than be forced to adapt to one. If the Seahawks dumped Harvin because he wasn't a good fit on the field, they need to be taken to task for not making him fit. If they really got rid of him because he simply was no longer a fit in the locker room, it's hard to get on them.

But just because Harvin supposedly didn't get along with a couple of his teammates in Seattle it doesn't mean that will also be the case with the Jets. We have no idea what caused the alleged incidents, and to paint him with a hearsay brush is irresponsible.

Rex Ryan laughed at the idea of Harvin explaining himself. The Jets took about two seconds to decide to give the guy a clean slate. That makes a ton of sense, because the Jets have more important things to do -- like getting their new toy up to speed on a complicated playbook.

Assuming Harvin is on his best behavior and is productive, the Jets will have themselves a steal.

The Jets are built to have a stout running game, and have executed as such several times this season, but offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's goal has always been to have balance. Slowly maturing quarterback Geno Smith and a receiving corps of Harvin, Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley, along with tight ends Jeff Cumberland and Jace Amaro, should allow for that philosophy to take shape. And if that happens the Jets will win more games. It's pretty simple.

And not just over their final nine games. If all of the Jets' skill position guys are allowed to grow together, which seems to be the plan now that the Jets have signed Kerley, who would have been a free agent after the season, to a four-year extension, they could develop a continuity that this team really isn't used to, yet desperately needs.

Idzik told reporters on Monday that getting Harvin was "a potential coup" for the Jets. I agree. They gave up very little to get a player that can be a No. 1 wide receiver, assuming reports are correct that the most the conditional pick can become is a fourth rounder. What's more, after the $7.1 million the Jets must pay Harvin for the rest of this season, not one cent of the remaining $40 million-plus left on the final four years of his contract is guaranteed.

This means if after the next two-plus months the Jets don't see Harvin as a fit or Harvin decides to lay out Greg Salas, Idzik can cut him on the first day of league business in 2015 with no cap hit.

So the onus is on Harvin here to not only be an impact player, but also a good teammate if his desire is to stick with the Jets or perhaps get some bargaining power to renegotiate for a deal with guaranteed money. If he doesn't do both, Jets will likely cut him and he will have washed out of his third organization, meaning his chances for more big-money, guaranteed deals down the road will take a huge hit.

Seriously, what is not to like here?

There's this notion going around that fans will stay home because the Jets have lost six straight games and that this trade was done for no other reason than to keep seats filled. It's not a sound argument in my opinion because the Jets clearly built this team knowing it was just an early act in a really long play. I stand by my belief that owner Woody Johnson, Idzik and Ryan came into the season on the same page as far as hoping for the best in terms of making the playoffs while building depth and adding pieces for a longer haul.

Johnson almost certainly signed off on the Jets' rebuild, so he has given his GM autonomy to do what needs to be done. If trading for the 26-year-old Harvin now can potentially help the Jets next season or a few seasons from now, you better believe Johnson agreed to it, especially with the caveat that a good Harvin will only help the team sell PSLs and tickets.

I just don't understand why so many people think there has to be an ulterior motive or conspiracy theory attached to everything the Jets do. If in need of an upgrade, there's not a team out there that wouldn't have rolled the dice on a player like Harvin. Sure, the timing may not be for everyone, but this move will do nothing to harm the Jets. And this idea that Harvin is somehow a bigger cancer than Santonio Holmes is funny when you consider that the Jets would never have even come close to sniffing the AFC title game in 2010 if they didn't trade for Holmes, and all of his issues.

The bottom line is not every player is a model citizen. Sometimes you have to deal with problematic souls if they have upside. The Jets clearly have faith in their ability to rehabilitate. That might seem laughable to some, but the Jets said they did their due diligence on Harvin. Are we actually that jaded to believe they are lying to us?

Some people really need to get a grip.

During last week's loss up in New England, Smith played one of his better games, but the obvious became apparent as drive after drive stalled in the red zone -- the Jets were hurting for playmakers. Not until the final two drives in the fourth quarter did any receiver other than Decker have a reception. The Jets still see great potential in Smith and as this has always been a season of evaluation on many fronts it makes sense that Idzik would trade for Harvin on his terms. Didn't he sign most every free agent he signed this past offseason on his terms? Didn't he say no to pursuing a bunch of cornerbacks because they wouldn't agree to his terms?

"Our premise will always be if there's a chance for us to improve our team, no matter what time of year it is, be it early- to mid-October or early- to mid-April, we're going to do it," Idzik said. "This chance presented itself and we felt like we wanted to take advantage of it."

You may not approve of the methods to Idzik's madness, but he's in charge, and all the complaining in the world is not going to change Johnson's mind. This GM is here for the long haul.

The Jets have deserved a beating for many of the choices they have made since the beginning of their playoff drought, but this is not one of them. They made a smart decision on Friday, one that will be hardly a bother should it not work out. And if it does, even the most hardened Idzik hater will have no choice but to tip his cap.

And let's be honest, if the Patriots had traded for Harvin all you would be hearing right now is how brilliant they are.

Don't deny it. You know it's the truth.

Read more columns by Jeff Capellini and follow him on Twitter at @GreenLanternJet

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