Evidently, the Minnesota Vikings feel electrifying slot receivers, who are just as dangerous in the return game, grow on tree. Sources for CBS Sports confirm that Percy Harvin is now on the trading block.
During four abbreviated seasons in the Great White (NFC) North, Harvin has racked up 29 all-purpose touchdowns (20 receiving, 5 returning and 4 rushing) for the Minnesota Vikings.
And even though he only played nine games in 2012, Percy Harvin still led the Vikings in receptions (62) and yards (677). The next closest candidate in both categories was the 53 catches and 493 yards that Kyle Rudolph posted in 16 games for the Vikings.
Harvin is entering the final year of his rookie contract that will pay him just $2.9 million in base salary for the 2013 season. While some teams may have to risk him becoming just a one-year rental, the low salary figure, coupled with his playmaking ability, should make for a very dense trade market.
Who are the top five teams that should look to trade for one William Percival Harvin this offseason?
New York Jets
Ten points for anyone who can name the New York Jets’ leading receiver from 2012? If you guessed Jeremy Kerley then you are either a Rain Man-like statistical savant, or you have the unfortunate privilege of calling yourself a Jets’ fan.
Mark Sanchez has been given the blame for much of the Jets’ struggles – and to some degree, rightfully so – the “butt-fumble” really was the icing on the cake to a historically bad offensive team. However, in Sanchez’s defense, I’m not sure he had anyone to throw to who could have even made the rosters of half the teams in the NFL. Surprisingly, the household names of Jeff Cumberland, Stephan Hill and Chaz Schilens were not enough to give the Jets a respectable passing attack.
While Darrelle Revis may have been “speechless” to learn that the Jets were talking about trading him, if the New York front office really does have designs on moving the four time Pro Bowler, the Minnesota Vikings may be open to a Revis-for-Harvin deal. The Vikings ranked 24th in passing defense last season and tied for 27th in total interceptions (10).
New England Patriots
This seems like a match made in Fantasy Football heaven. Wes Welker appears to be on his way out of Foxborough, leaving a very cushy slot receiver position open for anyone who might like to catch 100+ passes from Tom Brady next year.
Head coach Bill Belichick has publicly lauded the ability of Harvin, so the “Hoodie” would seem amenable to the idea – which is already half the battle. The other half is being able to meet the Vikings’ demands. Brandon Marshall was traded to the Chicago Bears last season for a couple of third-round picks. While most agree that trade bordered on highway robbery, Harvin is certainly not quite the caliber of wide receiver that Brandon Marshall is.
The Patriots will have a first, second and third round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, however, they will not pick again until round seven. New England gave their fourth-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for Aqib Talib. They also lost their fifth and sixth round picks in failed attempts to revive the careers of Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco respectively.
San Francisco 49ers
In the 2009 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers passed up on Percy Harvin in favor of Texas Tech standout Michael Crabtree. In fact, Harvin was the fourth wide receiver selected in 2009 behind Darrius Heyward-Bey (Oakland Raiders), Michael Crabtree (49ers) and Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles). How many of those teams would like a redo now?
After finding their quarterback of the future on their very own sideline, the San Francisco 49ers now find themselves with two starting-caliber QBs. Alex Smith is likely to find a new home somewhere this offseason, so what about Minnesota?
Are the Vikings completely sold on Christian Ponder as their franchise quarterback? While the second-year signal caller did have some bright moments, everyone knows Adrian Peterson is the only reason the Vikings were able to resemble anything close to an NFL offense in 2012. Alex Smith in place of Christian Ponder may seem like a lateral move, but Smith was the quarterback who took the 49ers within a Kyle Williams’ muffed-punt of a Super Bowl berth in 2011.
St. Louis Rams
In the 2012 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams selected a king’s ransom of future picks by trading the No. 2 spot, which eventually became Robert Griffin III, to the Washington Redskins for three first-round picks and one second-round pick. If the Rams want to start making use of all those draft markers, Percy Harvin may be a player on which the Rams need to cash in a chit.
The Rams will have two selections in the first round this season (No. 16, No. 22). Based on what other high-caliber wide receivers have gone for, one of those picks would be more than enough to pry Harvin away from Minnesota.
The St. Louis Rams boasted the 18th best passing attack in the NFL last season, yet no receiver had more than 698 yards (Chris Givens). With a record of 7-8-1 in 2012, could Percy Harvin be enough to make the Rams a serious playoff contender in the tough NFC West?
Surprisingly enough, the Miami Dolphins finished second in the AFC East – seriously, I checked twice just to make sure it wasn’t a typo. While they were still not anywhere close to threatening the 12-4 New England Patriots, at 7-9, the Miami Dolphins found themselves just a stone’s throw away from mediocre.
After giving up perennial 1,000 yard receiver Brandon Marshall, the Dolphins have a glaring hole on the outside of their offense – and a couple of extra mid-round picks burning a hole in their pocket. Brian Hartline and Davone Bess were much better than expected for Miami last season, but adding a proven threat like Harvin to that mix could work to make the Dolphins legitimate, not to mention help with the further development of Ryan Tannehill.