Percy Harvin: Pros and Cons of Trading Embattled WR
According to Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin wants to be traded. To put it bluntly, Hartman reports that Harvin "doesn't want to play for the Vikings" anymore.
Before we answer what the Vikings should do, we must ask what would be the pros and cons of trading the embattled wide receiver?
Harvin hasn't been the most peaceful player in the NFL, but he's certainly one of the most productive.
The question on every Vikings fans mind, however, is simple: does the reward outweigh the cost?
Pro: Ending the Drama
Simply put, the Minnesota Vikings would be doing themselves a favor by putting an end the drama, one way or another.
Prior to the 2012 NFL season, Percy Harvin threatened to hold out of training camp (via The Associated Press). Harvin eventually attended the workouts, but voiced his displeasure about the Vikings' reluctance to offer him a substantial contract extension.
In November 2012, Harvin reportedly clashed with head coach Leslie Frazier in a heated confrontation, via 1500 ESPN.
In February 2013, Mike Max of WCCO reported that the Vikings would try to trade Harvin.
The Vikings' response came via general manager Rick Spielman: Minnesota will not trade Harvin (via NFL.com).
As previously alluded to, Harvin is now demanding a trade. In other words, we've come full circle in terms of his standing with the organization.
As great of a player as he may be, perhaps trading Harvin is the only way to end this constant headache.
Con: Lack of Depth at Receiver
Outside of Percy Harvin, the Minnesota Vikings have six shades of nothing at wide receiver.
23-year-old Jarius Wright has potential, but that's all he's displayed. Coming off of a season in which he secured 22 receptions for 310 yards, there is no reason to believe he is a true No. 1 option.
Fellow second-year fourth-round pick Greg Childs is largely unproven after nursing knee injuries from last year's training camp in his rookie campaign.
The same goes for 27-year-old Jerome Simpson. No matter how athletic he may be, he grabbed just 26 passes in 12 games.
For a team that ranked 32nd in passing yards and 25th in passing touchdowns, trading a Pro Bowl caliber wideout certainly lacks logic.
Harvin is one of two Vikings since 2006 to tally at least 60 receptions. The other was Sidney Rice, who now plays for the Seattle Seahawks.
Rice did it once—Harvin has done it in four consecutive seasons.
Pro: Shopping for Draft Picks
This is merely speculative, but one has to believe that the Minnesota Vikings would be able to receive some form of draft compensation should they trade Percy Harvin.
Harvin is only 24 years old and is the epitomizes the usefulness of versatility at the position. Not only can he line up outside, but he can play as a slot receiver, return kicks and set up in the backfield.
We'll touch on that in a moment.
The fact of the matter is that the Vikings are far from a title contender at this stage of the game. In order to reach that plateau, they must create depth on both ends of the ball.
Acquiring additional draft choices is the perfect route to take for that purpose.
Con: Losing Unparalleled Versatility
Since being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2009, Percy Harvin has accounted for 29 touchdowns.
20 of those scores have come on passing plays, five have coming on kick returns and four have come on running plays.
That's what you call versatility, key on an offense often considered one-dimensional, relying on one player (Adrian Peterson) to the lead the offense, with little emphasis on the passing game. This lack of balance would become more drastic without Harvin.
Over the past two seasons, Harvin is averaging 83.4 yards per game from scrimmage. He's averaging an additional 43.8 yards per game on returns.
That's 127.2 total yards of offense per game spread out in a way that reflects his versatile dominance.
At the time of his injury in 2012, Harvin was averaging 149.7 yards of total offense per game. That includes 6.9 receptions and 75.2 receiving yards per contest.
Harvin did everything in Minnesota. Losing him would leave more than just a void at wide receiver.
Pro: The Injury Factor
As an NFL player, labeling Percy Harvin as injury-prone would be premature.
With that being said, there is a history of leg-related ailments.
Harvin is coming off of an ankle injury which required minor surgery. As a player who gets by on his quickness and ability to change direction, however, Harvin could have trouble recovering.
For that reason, the Vikings could look to deal him before the injuries get out of hand.
Furthermore, Harvin battled a minor knee injury during October of 2012 and is susceptible to migraines.
Harvin is not necessarily injury-prone, but minor ailments consistently plague the world class playmaker.
Con: Losing a World Class Tandem
The Minnesota Vikings have one of the most dynamic duos in the NFL in running back Adrian Peterson and wide receiver Percy Harvin.
At the time of Harvin's injury, the two had combined for 1,877 yards and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage—through nine games.
By breaking these two up, the Vikings would lose one of the most productive pairings in the league. They'd also lose the life source of their offensive production.
For the season, Harvin and Peterson combined for 3,087 yards from scrimmage. The rest of the team compiled 2,298 combined.
That's 57.3 percent of the Vikings' yards from scrimmage coming through two men.