On Saturday, WCCO’s Mike Max broke the news that Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin had a blowup with Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier last season, which will likely lead to Minnesota trading the fourth-year receiver this offseason. If Harvin does hit the trading block, the Denver Broncos may come into play.
Harvin (5'11", 184 lbs) is a 24-year-old receiver out of Florida who is explosive both as a return specialist and slot receiver/running back. Two seasons ago, the Broncos experienced firsthand what Harvin is capable of when the young wideout caught eight passes for 156 yards and a pair of scores (video highlights here).
Harvin would come with some baggage (the Vikings are reportedly willing to deal him because of his attitude), but working with respected veterans including quarterback Peyton Manning could, perhaps, help keep him in line. And the Broncos may soon need another slot receiver.
Veteran receiver Brandon Stokley will turn 37 this summer and is scheduled to become a free agent. In 2012, Stokley was Manning's go-to man on third down, catching 45 passes for 544 yards and five receivers as the Broncos' slot receiver.
Some have suggested New England Patriots free-agent receiver Wes Welker as a possible replacement for Stokley in Denver, but Welker would come at a hefty price tag, and the Broncos don't necessarily have the cap room.
Harvin, meanwhile, is due to make $2.9 million under his current contract in 2013, according to Rotoworld. That is a price the Broncos can afford.
Should Denver go after Harvin?
Joining up with receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, Harvin would give the Broncos one of the most talented young receiving corps in the league.
Playing with Manning during a contract year, it's hard to imagine Harvin not being successful in Denver's offense. Before the Broncos can even make an offer for Harvin, however, things could get messy in Minnesota.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Harvin is expected to hold out from offseason workouts and training camp until the Vikings give him a new contract. If the Broncos did trade a mid-round selection for Harvin, they may need to re-negotiate a new deal in order to retain him.
Even if the Broncos were to give Harvin a raise, he would still come as a better bargain than the older, more expensive Welker. But before making a move for Harvin, the Broncos would have to consider his troubled status—is the team willing to put up with his reported antics?
Considering how long the team has kept linebacker D.J. Williams on the roster, it appears that character concerns do not outweigh player performance in the eyes of Denver's coaching staff. Harvin can certainly perform, so the Broncos shouldn't hesitate to pursue him, if he does become available.