NFL Free Agency: Breaking Down How Percy Harvin Trade Will Affect WR Market

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2013

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 04: Percy Harvin #12 of the Minnesota Vikings returns a kick during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 4, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The market for free-agent wide receivers got a lot more interesting on Monday afternoon.

You may not think that the Percy Harvin trade between the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks would affect free agency, but it very well could send ripples across the wide receiver market. Here are the details on that trade, via Jay Glazer:

Before trading away Harvin, the Minnesota Vikings needed to upgrade the wide receiver position. Now, you could argue it should be the team's top priority.

Yes, the Vikings could wait until the draft to address the position. With the No. 23 and 25 picks in the first round, the need could be addressed at that slot. But with a vibrant free-agent market at the position, the Vikings—fresh off of a playoff appearance this past season—could look to add a more experienced player.

Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings, Danny Amendola and possibly even Wes Welker could be targets for the Vikings. In terms of Wallace, the Vikings could start a bidding war with the Miami Dolphins, the team Adam Schefter of ESPN believes is leading the chase to sign the former Pittsburgh Steelers star:

If the Vikings enter the wide receiver fray—which will likely also include the Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills, among others—the marquee free agents could see their value increase. There will be no bargains at wide receiver in free agency, in other words.

But wait, what if the Vikings had other plans entirely? What if they were possibly interested in Victor Cruz?

That may sound crazy, but according to Mike Garafolo of USA Today, the New York Giants have slapped a first-round tender on the restricted free agent:

If the Vikings love Cruz, they can offer him a long-term deal, hope the Giants don't match and essentially end up swapping Harvin for Cruz. Not bad, right?

I know what you are thinking—why give up a pick when you can simply go after a player like Wallace in free agency? 

Frankly, it's a good question. Maybe you think Cruz is simply the better player, or will demand a more reasonable contract. Perhaps you decide think he'll be a better fit in the locker room. 

Whatever the case, it's an interesting idea and not totally out of the question. One thing is for certain—the ripples of this Harvin trade will be felt in free agency and in the draft. If you think the Vikings are going to stand pat with the receivers they have, think again.

Oh, and don't think the San Francisco 49ers will simply stand pat after their rivals improved on Monday. Darrelle Revis might not be in the cards, but pursuing a free-agent corner like Sean Smith would make sense.

Things are about to get fun, folks.


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