Miami Dolphins: Should Fins Trade for Percy Harvin?
Free agency promises to be plump with top-flight receiving talent. Greg Jennings has already been linked to Miami on several occasions, but options like Mike Wallace and Dwayne Bowe also exist.
The former University of Florida speedster has found relative success in Minnesota, most prominently as a return man. However, it appeared in 2012 that he was finally ready to take the next step in his career and become a No. 1-caliber receiver.
An ankle injury and spat with the head coach later, Harvin's season was done.
Add in the fact that Harvin wants a fat new deal instead of playing out the final year of his rookie contract, and it's easy to see why Harvin might suit up in a different uniform next season.
Even though Minnesota's general manager Rick Spielman has said the Vikings have no intention of dealing Harvin, it's hard to imagine the receiver will stick around.
And so the question must be asked: Should the Miami Dolphins trade for Percy Harvin? The Dolphins are shopping for a big-time receiver; Harvin seemingly performed like a big-time receiver prior to his injury this past season.
Match made in heaven? Dumb luck? Serendipity?
Let's not get ahead of ourselves. First, let's examine a few things.
Harvin spent his first two years in Minnesota (2009-10) behind Sidney Rice, the Vikings' No. 1 receiver at the time.
Harvin managed respectable stats during that two-year period. He tallied 131 receptions for 1,835 yards and 11 touchdowns.
During his first year as more of a No. 1 receiver, Harvin again put up respectable stats. He recorded 87 receptions for 967 yards and six touchdowns. In 2012, however, Harvin was on pace for a career-defining season.
Through nine games, Harvin had 62 receptions for 677 yards. He may have only had three touchdowns, but he was still in the midst of a special season.
More importantly, Harvin was dropping fewer passes. In 2010 and 2011 Harvin was targeted 110 and 123 times, respectively. He only caught 71 and 87 of those passes, respectively again.
Last season, Harvin caught the ball 62 times out of 85 targets.
The evidence is there. Harvin was taking the next step from reliable slot man to go-to playmaker before his season was prematurely ended. Granted, Harvin still made a majority of his plays from the slot, but that becomes inconsequential when you look at his numbers.
By now, most people know about Harvin's chronic migraines.
Beyond that, Harvin has dealt with the injury bug in other capacities. Everything from shoulder, hamstring and leg injuries have pestered Harvin in the past. His most recent ankle injury is the most severe, sidelining him for much of the season and earning him a spot on injured reserve.
Harvin's Off the Field Issues
In 2010, then-Vikings head coach Brad Childress accused Harvin of taking it easy at practice while dealing with a different ankle injury. Childress threw Harvin out, and the situation escalated. The two reportedly had to be separated in the weight room after a witness claims Harvin chucked a weight at Childress.
Childress isn't the only head coach to face Harvin's wrath. After Harvin's ankle injury against the Seahawks last November, Harvin was caught by cameras screaming at head coach Leslie Frazier, reportedly unhappy with the team's offense.
Another confrontation between the two reportedly occurred weeks later, causing some to speculate whether it was the ankle injury or his antagonistic attitude that landed Harvin on IR.
Despite declarations that only Harvin's injury caused him to be benched by both Harvin and Frazier, there's no denying that the talented receiver is something of a hothead.
So, is he a fit in Miami?
There's no question Harvin is a dynamic player who can be absolutely electrifying when playing at his best. From that perspective, Harvin fits nicely into what Miami needs. But it's important not to get caught up solely in his production and abilities.
First, when compared to Miami's other options, Harvin is a bit behind. Mike Wallace (64 receptions, 836 yards, eight touchdowns) had better numbers in 2012. Greg Jennings (36 receptions, 366 yards, four touchdowns) may have lacking numbers, but he only played in eight games and never seemed fully healthy. However, his production from previous years indicates that he's certainly an elite talent.
You could argue that Wallace and Jennings had better quarterbacks throwing to them, and that's valid. But that doesn't fully excuse any disparities between the receivers' numbers.
However, you can toss the stats and even Harvin's durability concerns out the window. Because the primary reason Harvin would not fit in Miami is his problematic attitude.
Should the Dolphins trade for Percy Harvin?
Even if the possibility exists for Harvin to prove that he can fall in line, it's likely that his history of battling head coaches has put him on the avoid list in Miami. If a guy like Brandon Marshall was sent packing, it's unlikely the Dolphins would bring in a player who could potentially be equally as troubling.
Furthermore, the Vikings are likely to get at least a second-round pick for Harvin (among other things), and the Dolphins are probably going to hold on to their two second-round picks.
The Dolphins can already get an elite receiver who is arguably more talented in Wallace or Jennings and still have a full hand of draft picks. It would ultimately cost Miami too much, and Harvin doesn't offer enough value.
Miami is going to get its elite wide receiver this offseason. Just don't expect it to come from a trade with the Vikings for Percy Harvin.
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