Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Percy Harvin hasn’t been able to get along with two head coaches, and now the Minnesota Vikings very public divorce with the former Florida Gators wide receiver maybe nearing a conclusion.
Harvin is a great, possibly underrated talent, but also a massively underrated head case. He got into regular arguments with both his Minnesota coaches, Brad Childress and Leslie Frasier. He wanted a bigger role in the offense. He skipped a minicamp last June and requested a trade. He reportedly got into a louder argument with Frazier during last season before he was finally shutdown with an ankle injury. Even without him, led by Superhuman Adrian Peterson, Minnesota went 5-2 and made the playoffs.
So what do you get for him and where does he go?
At 5-11, 200 lbs. Harvin is a unique receiver. He breaks more tackles than anyone at his position. He isn’t a classical #1 guy, but he can snatch 80+ passes for you, albeit most of them on underneath routes. He has never had a 1000 yard season, but he can also chip in in the running game. Basically he’s a bigger, better version of a Darren Sproles.
He will be 25 before the start of next season, so he still has many good years in front of him. He does have some injury history with the ankle injury this year and history of migraines. Based on what Miami got for Brandon Marshall, also a head-case, but a more traditional #1 WR (two 3rd round picks), I’d guess he could fetch a 2nd or 3rd round pick, or perhaps multiple picks in that range.
1. Cincinnati– The Bengals have a clear #1 WR in AJ Green, and young WR surrounding him, but what they could use is another play-maker to help Andy Dalton to that next level and turn the Bengals into the team to beat in the AFC North, and perhaps the conference.
2. Houston– The Texans have been searching for a #2 WR for years, and Harvin would serve as the perfect compliment to Andre Johnson and give Matt Schaub that extra weapon he needs to take that team to the Super Bowl.
3. Carolina– Steve Smith isn’t getting any younger, and Cam Newton could use the help.
4. San Francisco– I thought long and hard about this. There is some duplication with Michael Crabtree and Harvin, but the Niners have 11 draft picks, and a surplus of talent. If any coach would find a way to make it work it would be Jim Harbaugh.
5. St. Louis– The Rams just rolled the dice on Titus Young, and Jeff Fisher has been a major risk taker in his career. Even if Young works out, Harvin would be a nice fit for the Rams.
Detroit- Hard to imagine the Vikings trading Harvin to a division rival plus Titus Young didn’t quite work out like the Lions would have hoped, and that could cause quite a bit of trepidation thinking about bringing in another petulant pass-catcher, but man would that be a nasty 1-2 punch with Harvin and Megatron
Miami- The Dolphins reportedly loved Harvin coming out of college and Jeff Ireland is still the GM. The Dolphins also need help for QB Ryan Tannehill. But Miami has sent packing Marshall and Chad Johnson, and Joe Philbin seems like a no-nonsense kind of guy.
Philadelphia- Not necessary, but a coach like Chip Kelly sure could have fun moving around Harvin in his offense.
Harvin could be a good get for somebody, and perhaps the Vikings will maximize his positive attributes in a trade. Perhaps they’ll start a bidding war. More likely, Harvin has already knocked down his trade value by his complaints and teams will be less willing to sacrifice a substantial sum for a injury-plagued head-case that may not be a #1 wide receiver.