The receiver landscape of the National Football League looks something like this. There are two disgruntled receivers that are unhappy with their current employer. Both men have exceptional talents, and both are looking for something that's not being given to them by their current employer.
Those two receivers are Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings and Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Those similarities would be the perfect reason why both teams would benefit from swapping their two malcontents.
By looking at Harvin over the past couple of months, there have been several reports that he's unhappy with something going on around the Vikings' facility.
Could it be that Harvin, who is currently the only obvious receiving option for the Vikings, wants to be paid like a No. 1 receiver? Or are Harvin's issues deeper than that, such as an underlying feud with a coaching staff that wants to limit his snaps?
Whatever the problem is, Harvin requested a trade from the Vikings in mid-June and vice president of football operations Rick Spielman basically laughed and handed him a playbook.
Harvin is in the second-to-last year of his rookie contract, and I would think that if he went to management and asked for a new contract, the Vikings wouldn't have a problem with it. Or would they?
Remember, Harvin's first couple of seasons were plagued by migraine headaches. Plus, Harvin may still have a grudge against management because of the 2010 release of close friend Randy Moss, according to a June report from Pro Football Talk.
And that's why the Vikings would be foolish not to inquire about Wallace.
Wallace would give the Vikings a receiver that's explosive enough to replace Harvin in the lineup. While he's not a "slot machine" like Harvin is, Wallace could give the Vikings something more valuable in the offense: an outside receiving threat they haven't had since Moss' departure in 2005.
The Vikings feel like they have their man for that role with new free-agent signing Jerome Simpson, but regular-season football is much different than OTAs where Simpson supposedly stole the show.
The Vikings could sign Wallace to a long-term extension and give developing quarterback Christian Ponder a weapon on the outside that could help the offense develop into one capable of keeping up with their three star-studded division colleagues.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh would be getting a solid piece in return as they would have the gadget receiver that new offensive coordinator Todd Haley would want in his pass-heavy offense (which is what would be assumed if they run something similar to his previous stint with the Arizona Cardinals).
The trade is not likely to happen, because not only are we so close to the beginning of the season, but football trades are usually bizarre to begin with. Normally, a team does not get proper value in return when they trade a player away, and this would be going against the grain.
Also, Harvin has since said he's happy at camp and is looking forward to the season (h/t Pioneer Press). So all appears to be well for now.
However, if Harvin's troubles resurface after another three- or four-win season, the Vikings may be suited to take a look at Wallace come next season when he'll likely hit the free-agent market.
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