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It has been common knowledge for some time that Percy Harvin is not happy at the Minnesota Vikings. Reports have emanated that he is unhappy with the way the Vikings have dealt with his injury; Harvin is currently recovering from surgery on his shoulder. It has been suggested he is dissatisfied with the Vikings’ reluctance to offer him a new contract which more accurately represents his contribution to the team. Whilst none of these rumors have been confirmed, with both Harvin and the Vikings preferring to settle these issues in-house, it has resulted in Harvin officially requesting a trade away from Minnesota.
The first thing that should be assumed in this saga is that the Vikings will not trade Harvin, despite the request. Given that Harvin is contracted to the Vikings for another two seasons, and at a very a reasonable price, it would take an extraordinary offer for Minnesota to even consider trading their number one receiver. Harvin made 967 yards on 87 receptions last season and was by far the most prolific of the Vikings’ receivers, also showing his versatility by playing running back when required, rushing for 345 yards.
That being said, there will be plenty of NFL teams who have sat up and took notice following Harvin’s announcement. At the forefront of this group is likely to be the Miami Dolphins. Stripped of a number one receiver following Brandon Marshall’s trade to the Chicago Bears, the Dolphins are in dire need of top receiving talent, despite their assurances they are happy with their current group. Their receiving corps boasts the likes of Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Legedu Naanee and recent addition Chad Ochocinco, but none of them have the overall skill set to make them a legitimate contender for the number one receiver role. There is no doubt that Stephen Ross would love to have Harvin as a target for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but the question remains as to what he would have to give up to obtain him.
Another team likely to be interested is the Washington Redskins, who would also love to have him link up with their rookie quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Although the Redskins boast a better receiving corps than the Dolphins, with the likes of Santana Moss, Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon, there is no doubting that Harvin would not only become the number one receiver, but also transform the Redskins’ offense into one which could compete in the challenging NFC East. Given the price paid for the opportunity to acquire RG3, it is debatable whether Washington has the leverage to make a tempting offer to the Vikings, and if they do, would they even be willing to trade away further draft picks.
One team which is perhaps in a position to make a decent offer to the Vikings (the Redskins can be thanked for that) is the St Louis Rams. The plethora of picks they received for their number two overall draft pick in the 2012 draft could possibly be enough to tempt Minnesota into a deal. Whilst the Rams have already added Steve Smith to their receiving corps in free agency, as well as Chris Givens and Brian Quick in the draft, the prospect of an elite receiver like Harvin could be too tempting for St Louis to turn down, who have shown faith in Sam Bradshaw as their franchise quarterback and will look to give him all the tools he needs to succeed.
Essentially these scenarios are very unlikely to come true, with the Vikings likely to wait until next season before trading Harvin when they would probably be able to receive just as good an offer as they could get this season. This would see them get another year’s production out of one of the best young receivers in the league and also give them an opportunity to try and convince him his future is in Minnesota. If the Vikings were to cut their losses on an unhappy player, and avoid any chance of him upsetting the locker room this coming season, it would certainly be one of the more surprising stories from this offseason, but far from the strangest thing that has ever happened in the NFL.
Image Courtesy of Percy Harvin