I had an email today from a reader called Chris. Thought it might create an interesting discussion…
Rob, I read today on Rotoworld that Percy Harvin is on the out. They say a second rounder and change. With the Hawks having so many picks, what about offering our second rounder and a 5,6, or 7? The only thing I wouldn’t like is that I thought we would be looking for a big receiver, rather than adding another 5-11 receiver. With that said, it’s Percy Harvin and could be reunited with Darrell Bevell. I would say that with Sidney Rice and Golden Tate on the outside along with Harvin in the slot, that would be a formidable trio. Thoughts?
Harvin is a truly dynamic receiver. Very few players enter the league with his playmaking talent. We’ve seen all kinds of prospects compared to Harvin — most recently Tavon Austin at West Virginia. The reality is nobody gets close. He plays bigger than his 5-11, 185lbs frame, gets off press and can stretch the field. He’s competitive. He has tremendous YAC value, is capable of handling a few snaps in the backfield and he’s one of the best kick returners in the league. He constantly finds ways to impact games and he’s been relatively productive despite awful quarterback situations in three of his four seasons in the NFL.
When you watched him at Florida, you knew he was a star in the making. Throughout his college career he just looked better. And despite concerns over drug use going into the 2009 draft, it wasn’t a big surprise he still ended up as a first round pick (#22 overall to Minnesota).
Age-wise he’s still young enough to warrant a decent contract. He’ll be 25 in May but still has at least four years of excellent production in his locker. He’s the quintessential scorer of cheap points. There aren’t many better than Harvin for making big momentum changes in a game. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the leagues best receivers, playmakers and all-round football players.
So why wouldn’t I make the trade?
For everything that’s good about Harvin, there’s nearly always a bigger negative. The report from Rotoworld quoted in Chris’ email refers to a piece by CBS Minnesota:
Sources tell WCCO’s Mike Max that the No. 1 reason Percy Harvin left the team this season was not his injury, but it was motivated by a blowup he had with Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier.
Multiple sources tell Max that Harvin had an embarrassing tirade directed toward Frasier, disrespecting the coach during the season when Harvin was sidelined with an injured ankle.
Teammates were present, and Max was told that is when Harvin left the team and was put on injured reserve.
Sources say teammates were disappointed in Harvin’s actions and the organization has moved toward less tolerance for that behavior.
Harvin apparently had a similar incident when Childress coached the team.
The Vikings will try to trade him, Max reports, as Harvin does have market value.
One of the key mantra’s within Seattle’s locker room is you have to be ‘all in’. They want players to buy into Pete Carroll’s vision. That doesn’t mean they’re bringing in robotic yes-men towing a party-line that isn’t working. It’s about putting the team first and so far it’s working. The Minnesota Vikings won ten games in 2012 and made the post-season. Yet Percy Harvin is trying to show up the coach? Why? It’d be partly understandable if they were destined for 2-14. The Vikings actually had a pretty remarkable season. But Percy’s not happy.
Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.
Ok — he’s been after a new contract. I get that. But you do your complaining in campe, make the point and then get on with the job. Right at the point Harvin should’ve been doing his best to enhance Minnesota’s playoff ambitions, he was doing the polar opposite. Not good.
The fact he also had tear-ups with Brad Childress also suggests this isn’t a one-off, contract based wrangle. Seattle has a pretty harmonic dressing room right now and the last thing they need is Percy Harvin acting as a distraction. We saw some of the playmaking qualities he possesses at Century Link in 2012 but cast your minds back. What else do you remember? That’s right, Percy screaming at his coach on the sideline. In a close game. Whether it was a legitimate gripe or not, there’s a time and a place.
Then there’s the injury history. In 2009 and 2010 he suffered severe problems with migraine’s and was constantly listed on the injury report as a consequence. He’s also suffered many other issues including ankle, hamstring, hip, shoulder and finger injuries. In 2009 he was listed as questionable seven times. He was on the injury report eight times in 2010, seven times in 2011 and five times in 2012 before being placed on injured reserve (missing Minnesota’s last five games). He’s competitive for his size when he’s actually on the field, but he’s also been quite brittle.
Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin “epitomized the climate” of player entitlement under coach Urban Meyer at the University of Florida, according to a Sporting News report posted online Monday, April 9.
Harvin, who played for the Gators from 2006-08, reportedly was one of three players who missed the 2008 season opener after allegedly failing drug tests for marijuana – penalties dictated by university policy – although Meyer publicly blamed an injury for Harvin’s absence.
Harvin also refused to run stadium steps with the rest of the team during offseason conditioning before the 2007 season, according to the Sporting News, and once allegedly threw wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales to the ground by his neck.
Harvin reportedly wasn’t punished for either of those incidents, according to the report, and was treated differently as a member of Meyer’s “Circle of Trust.”
Harvin told strength and conditioning coaches while boycotting stadium runs, “this (expletive) ends now,” according to the report, and the team played basketball as conditioning the next day.
So it comes down to this — is he worth the hassle?
That’s not to say any deal is impossible. Marshawn Lynch was considered troublesome in Buffalo but he’s been a perfect professional for the Seahawks. John Schneider takes an aggressive approach to team building and he’s made similar deals in the past. He brought in Lynch, traded for Charlie Whitehurst and also found a way to land Chris Clemons in a bargain deal. They seriously considered a big trade for Brandon Marshall — who’s had his fair share of problems.
If Carroll and Schneider feel Harvin helps them get significantly closer to a Championship then maybe this could happen? Someone will show interest after all. Why not Seattle? They’re good enough to start considering the final moves that will push them towards title contention. And just like all potential trades (see: Darrelle Revis) they’ll no doubt do their homework and made an educated decision.
Right now I’d still say a trade to the Seahawks is unlikely. However dynamic Harvin can be on the field, you also need to be able to trust him off it. And as Carroll and Schneider build around Russell Wilson — I think they’ll be looking for guys who share his burning enthusiasm for success and hard work, not guys who are likely to scream at the coaches in the midst of a battle.
Daniel Jeremiah this week gave the Seahawks Keenan Allen in his latest mock draft. I suspect if the Seahawks do try to add a receiver, it’ll be the big, physical target they currently lack. Whether that’s a guy like Allen at 6-2/6-3 with the ability to compete in the air or a mobile tight end who can run a lot of receiver routes and act in the role Kellen Winslow would’ve taken had he made the cut — I think that’s what they’ll set out to add.
If they are willing to consider another receiver in that 5-11-6-1 range, why not go after DeAndre Hopkins? He might not be the most explosive receiver, but he’s reliable, consistent and will make life easier for Wilson. He might not have the same playmaking qualities as Harvin, but he could be more effective for this young offense.