A day after hinting at trouble, Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin made it clear he's unhappy in Minnesota by requesting a trade. Obviously, the likelihood the team actually deals the dangerous, multi-purpose weapon is almost nil, especially with him being under contract (and highly affordable) for the next two seasons. How do you see this situation playing out?
Harvin's too affordable, valuable and young to hit the trading blockThe Vikings won't trade Percy Harvin. His contract is too affordable, he is too valuable -- especially with Adrian Peterson coming back from a serious knee injury -- and he's young. The Vikings will try to work this out amicably -- having a person of strong reason like Leslie Frazier helps -- and maybe they placate Harvin to some degree. This sounds like an issue that is more on-field/football-related than contractual. Even so, for Harvin to request a trade, something is unhealthy.
If things get to a point where Harvin threatens to hold out of training camp, the Vikings won't budge because they have leverage. If Harvin doesn't report by Aug. 6, he will lose a year toward free agency and that could be a deal breaker for Harvin. Getting to free agency will be his chance for a big pay day and that tends to be the most crucial factor for most players, regardless of other issues.
Vikings have understandable concerns about giving Harvin a long-term extensionThis situation could give us a lot to write about and speculate over during the next two months, but I don't think Percy Harvin's trade request will accomplish much. The Vikings won't trade him and they have understandable concerns about giving him a lucrative long-term contract extension, considering his injury history and some off-field drama.
My guess is that Harvin holds out of training camp and shows up before Week 1 with some promises about playing more snaps, but no extra money.
If Harvin's a negative influence on young Vikings, Minnesota should deal himI think Minnesota keeps Percy Harvin. When healthy, he is a valuable playmaker. And you can't let players dictate organizational business.
However, if you know internally that Harvin is not a positive for the team, you need to move him. A young team can't have a negative influence in the locker room. When Harvin was coming out of Florida, I talked to a number of teams that were not interested in drafting him because of attitude and behavioral issues.
If Harvin really wants leverage, he must consistently produce in 2012Percy Harvin stays with the Vikings. The ending is pretty much inevitable, but the intrigue will be the twists and turns that get us to that conclusion.
Minnesota's young playmaker is unhappy, and on a team that lacks offensive firepower, his unhappiness is especially troublesome. Adrian Peterson is doing yeoman's duty in rehabbing his knee, but as much as we suspect that AD has a big "S" on his chest under his pads, experience tells us that returning to top form after major knee surgery usually takes two seasons.
So, does Percy Harvin have the Vikes over a barrel in his wish for a new contract? In a sense, but not to the point that the Vikings will do the rash thing and trade Harvin. No, this likely will be news into the season, but if Harvin really wants leverage he will need to play well. He must not only convince Vikings that they need him, but that his presence is worth some wins, too.
Vikings should trade Harvin if they don't plan on re-signing himGeneral manager Rick Spielman should honor Percy Harvin's request for a trade if the team has no interest in re-signing the disgruntled receiver when he hits free agency and they receive sufficient compensation -- say a 2013 second-rounder plus a sweetener pick in 2013 or 2014.
Harvin's issues with migraine headaches might be in the past, but various other maladies have always limited his ability to fully utilize his immense talent. Plus, Spielman has already drafted a potential replacement for Harvin in fourth-round pick Jarius Wright. The Arkansas star isn't quite as explosive as Harvin, but he shows promise as a starting NFL slot receiver and could also take on the kick-return job.
Get ready for Revis, Part IIFear not, Vikings fans, because what follows is exactly how Percy Harvin's situation will play out ...
Harvin's not happy with how the Vikings handled his injury situation, and he's underpaid. So he needs love, and money. (Don't we all?) The trade request is just an attention-getter. The Vikings will sit down with his representatives and shower him with love. That's part one.
Now the money. Harvin has two years left on a contract that's not fitting of someone who broke through last season to become one of the most dangerous wideouts in the game. The Vikings have him for two more years and they don't want to tear up his contract and give him a long-term deal until they have to. So they'll come up with a "Band-Aid," much like the New York Jets did with Darrelle Revis two summers ago (or like the Tennessee Titans did when Chris Johnson wanted more money a few years ago and the team wanted to get him into camp). So, you'll see Harvin get a few extra million over the next two seasons. He'll be happy and won't miss much time -- if any at all. Happy Harvin, happy Vikings. Unhappy DBs.