Buying or Selling Percy Harvin as NFL's Most Valuable Player?

Lou RomContributor IOctober 25, 2012

Oct 21, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin (12) looks on during the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Percy Harvin is having a great year, one that at least merits his mention as a possible MVP candidate.

But that's where fantasy and reality end.

No matter how great Harvin has been, he will not, cannot and should not win the MVP.

In the history of the award, only three players who did not play quarterback or running back won the MVP. None of those men were wide receivers.

There's good reason behind that: No offensive player who typically touches the ball a handful of times a game can be the most valuable player on the field.

If the incomparable Jerry Rice could not wrest the award from a QB or RB, why should Harvin?

In 1987, Rice scored a record 22 touchdowns—in a strike-shortened NFL season that lasted only 12 games—and rewrote the book on how to play wide receiver.

That record stood for 20 years.

Rice still did not win the MVP. It went to Denver quarterback John Elway, who was 10 years away from earning his first Super Bowl win.

Harvin has been valuable, no doubt.

  • Through seven weeks, he leads the league in all-purpose yards with 1,142.
  • He's second in the league in receptions, with 53 for 577 yards.
  • He's been a threat on kickoffs all season, averaging 32.5 yards-per-kick-return, including a 105-yard jaunt against Detroit.
  • And, he leads the league in YAC, with 438 yards after the catch.


But more than a dozen players have more touchdowns than Harvin, who has four, and countless others are making their presence felt.

The Texans' Arian Foster has 10 touchdowns, leads the league in rushing and may very well deliver his team that long-coveted Lombardi trophy.

Robert Griffin III has 11 touchdowns, is completing 70 percent of his passes and has revitalized Washington.

On the other side of the ball in Texas, J.J. Watt has been a menace, recording 9.5 sacks and has been disrupting opposing offenses from day one.

Harvin has been valuable, but he is not "the" most valuable player.

Lou Rom, a veteran journalist with more than 17 years experience, covers the NFL, his hometown New York Giants and whatever else gets under his skin for Bleacher Report.