Percy Harvin and the NFL's Biggest Malcontents
Despite making millions of dollars, there are always going to be dissatisfied players heading into each NFL season.
Minnesota receiver Percy Harvin is the most recent of additions to the 2012 malcontent list. According to Jon Crawczynski of the Associated Press via the West Central Tribune, Harvin expressed himself:
“I just put it this way, there’s a lot of different things that have to be sorted out,” Harvin said on the first day of a mandatory minicamp. “Just haven’t been really happy lately."
Luckily for Harvin he's not alone in 2012. So, let's take a look at him and some of the NFL's other biggest malcontents.
Maurice Jones-Drew: RB, Jaguars
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The Jacksonville Jaguars have a great opportunity in front of them in 2012. Unfortunately, all may be for naught if Maurice Jones-Drew remains out.
General manager Gene Smith confirmed Monday that Jones-Drew wants a new deal, but made it clear it's not going to happen.
"Our expectation with any player that's under contract is for them to fulfill their obligations," Smith said. "In terms of our position, he's got two years remaining."
One thing MJD does have in his favor is how vital his production was to Jacksonville in 2011. The offense has a spruced up receiving corps, but it won't be nearly as effective with Jones-Drew out.
At 27, Jones-Drew's time as an elite running back may be running out, so a potential training camp holdout would not be surprising. Consider how much other backs like Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson are making, and that MJD is in their class with a lower salary.
However, if Jones-Drew doesn't suit up the Jaguars will have an extremely disappointing season.
Matt Forte: RB, Bears
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There's only so many times a man that has done everything he's been asked to do can be disrespected! Guess the GOOD GUYS do finish last....— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) March 22, 2012
Fast-forward to June and nothing has really changed.
Forte has not put his signature down on the franchise tag and right now Michael Bush is the guy in Chicago's backfield.
Now, much like everyone else holding out Forte has until mid-July to sign. That being said, this standoff between the Bears and Forte won't get heated until after the first week of next month.
Chicago has the overall talent and made the necessary offseason fixes to become a Super Bowl contender. Forte is certainly a big part of the offense, but making due without him has to be a backup plan in case a holdout continues.
Darrelle Revis: CB, Jets
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Once again Darrelle Revis may end up in a holdout situation.
I learned a lot from these first two (contract negotiations). The third one, when it happens, when talks happen, we’ll hash it out.”
“Like I said before, something has to happen. Talks have to happen,” he said. “And then you go from there.”
The bright side of this is Revis taking the initiative. Still, after having held out twice before (2007 and 2010) a third potential holdout would draw much criticism.
We also have to remember that Revis is only turning 27 before this season and has five years under his belt. If a third holdout becomes a reality, at this rate we'd see Revis holdout another two times.
Being the NFL's best cover corner does give him some leverage, but neglecting to honor a contract in full could backfire on the field.
Percy Harvin: WR, Vikings
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Percy Harvin may be frustrated but he has to realize the situation of the Vikings as a whole.
He is their best receiving and is coming off a strong year with 967 yards on 87 receptions and six touchdowns. Harvin also returned 16 kickoffs for 520 yards and one score, as well as 345 rushing yards with two more scores.
Harvin is basically another version of DeSean Jackson and provides almost an exact skill set on the field. Looking ahead to 2012, though, Harvin must learn to be patient.
While in college Harvin never dealt with a rebuilding process, because the Florida Gators won two national championships during his three years in Gainesville. Minnesota, however, is a much different situation.
The Vikings are at the bottom of the NFC North right now and it's going to take a couple more years (at least) before Minnesota challenges for a Wild Card spot. A possible holdout, according to the Star-Tribune, from Harvin will only set himself and the Vikings back even more.
Adding some solid defenders via the draft after Matt Kalil, Minnesota has pieces in play. Harvin is a big part of that and let's hope the dynamic receiver becomes a little more patient.
Drew Brees: QB, Saints
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The situation between the New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees has taken another step.
According to Steve Wyche of NFL.com:
Drew Brees will have a grievance hearing June 27 in Philadelphia over his claim that the value of a possible future franchise tag should be higher than what the New Orleans Saints believe he should receive, a source with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday.
The good news is that Brees took some initiative here.
And with the whole bounty scandal, New Orleans needs Brees more than ever to keep the franchise playing well. Unfortunately, it may not be enough with the rest of the NFC South having made drastic improvements toward catching the Saints for 2012.
As for Brees, he's only hurting himself and the organization even more by remaining out. Regardless of the contractual situation, money doesn't win games.
And the longer it takes Brees to put his signature down, the tougher it will be to enjoy success early in the season.
John Rozum on Twitter.