The Seattle Seahawks had reached a point of no return with Percy Harvin. If they had been unable to trade him, they would have released him outright, according to league and team sources.
The Seahawks had until the NFL's trade deadline of Oct. 28 to move Harvin, but the desire to cut him loose was no longer a debate within the organization, the sources said.
Contrary to speculation, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was not among the players who pushed for Harvin to be jettisoned. According to sources, Wilson wanted to be part of the solution, helping Harvin with the anger management and trust issues that created numerous incidents and tension in the organization.
The staff and organization disagreed with Wilson and wanted him to focus on playing quarterback and not be distracted by Harvin's high maintenance.
Before trading Harvin to the New York Jets for a conditional draft choice, Seahawks general manager John Schneider was "fully forthcoming and transparent" with teams they engaged in trade discussions, according to sources.
"We made a bold move in acquiring him [from the Vikings in 2013]," Schneider said Sunday on the 710 ESPN Seattle pregame radio show. "But it became apparent that things weren't going to work out, and it wasn't a good fit.
"We have to prepare this team for moving forward all the time, and I'm not just talking about this week or next week. I'm talking about 2015 and 2016. We constantly have to look at how we improve the team. This was the appropriate move at the appropriate time."
There was no sense that the Seahawks' Super Bowl victory in February justified the investment the team had made when they acquired Harvin from the Vikings -- a deal that cost them first-, third- and seventh-round draft choices and about $19 million of the $25.5 million in guaranteed money they gave the receiver.
In the end, team sources say it was a "bad decision" and there is now a sense of relief.
The Seahawks are also anxious to use two rookie receivers in limited roles -- second-round pick Paul Richardson (Colorado) and fourth-round pick Kevin Norwood (Alabama). Richardson was described by some evaluators as a "Percy Harvin clone" in terms of his explosive ability.
Richardson's second-round selection in May was surprise to some in the league but now it's clear the Seahawks had foreseen a brief stop for Harvin in Seattle.
Schneider was asked Sunday what the Seahawks offense will look like without Harvin.
"Percy is such a unique talent that he has to be used in a specific manner," Schneider said. "I think you'll see us playing a little bit more like we did last year when Percy wasn't playing. It's an opportunity for guys like Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood to step forward."
ESPN.com Seahawks reporter Terry Blount contributed to this report.