Minnesota Vikings: 5 Reasons Percy Harvin's Trade Demand Is Ridiculous

Tim Arcand@@TArcandCorrespondent IJune 22, 2012

Minnesota Vikings: 5 Reasons Percy Harvin's Trade Demand Is Ridiculous

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    Percy Harvin must be feeling left out. Right now, as the Minnesota Vikings are in the midst of their minicamp, there is plenty of interest and excitement surrounding the team.

    The Vikings' first-round draft pick, Matt Kalil, is on everyone's radar screen, as he is the highest selected offensive tackle for the Vikings since they drafted Ron Yary first overall in 1969. Yary played 14 seasons with the Vikings and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

    Fans are clamoring for any news they can get about Adrian Peterson's progress toward his goal of being ready to play in the Vikings' opener against the Jaguars on Sept. 9. Peterson is a mere 66 yards from becoming Minnesota's all-time rushing leader. 

    There's a lot of anticipation for second-year quarterback Christian Ponder to show some improvement in 2012, bettering his 2-8 record and 70.1 passer rating—the worst rating of the three quarterbacks to take a snap last season.

    There's talk about how defensive end Jared Allen will follow up his record-breaking season when he set the Vikings' single-season mark with 22 sacks, just missing the NFL record.

    Everyone wants to know which wide receiver—newly signed Jerome Simpson or Arkansas rookies Greg Childs and Jarius Wright—will emerge as the Vikings' No. 1 receiver.

    Oh yeah, and Percy Harvin had offseason shoulder surgery—big deal.

    Somewhere, with all of the hype surrounding the Vikings, their best player from last season just has not been the top story for fans. 

    On Wednesday, Harvin walked out of the afternoon session of Vikings minicamp, demanding a trade. Not a lot of details are known at this point, and there is plenty of speculation as to why the demand is coming now.

    The last thing the Minnesota Vikings needed was a controversy to upset the rebuilding process. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has indicated that Minnesota has no interest in moving Harvin. The timing of this request is all wrong for Harvin, and here are five reasons it makes no sense for him to come forward now.

He's the Best Player on a Bad Team

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    While it may be a milestone to lead your team in yards from scrimmage, the achievement becomes a little tarnished when you consider with whom Percy Harvin was competing.

    Sure, Harvin led the Vikings with 1,312 receiving and rushing yards, supplanting Adrian Peterson who finished with 1,109 yards in 12 games. Peterson has been the Vikings' top yardage-gainer since Minnesota drafted him with the seventh overall pick in 2007.

    In the end, it didn't prevent the Vikings from finishing last in the NFC North for the second consecutive season.

Believe It or Not, It Is About the Money

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    Right, Percy Harvin tweeted on Wednesday that his issues with the Vikings is not about the money, as reported in a story from Brian Hall of FoxSportsNorth.com.

    However, even though players won't admit it—it is about the money. 

    It's not that they need the money, but it's the one thing that transcends positions and sports. To be the top-paid player correlates highly with being the best.

    No doubt, last season Harvin was the Vikings' best player. The problem is, his salary surely doesn't reflect that. 

    Last season. Harvin was paid $655,000 as part of the five-year rookie deal he signed in 2009. Heading into 2012, there are 16 players with a higher salary than him. Third-string quarterback Sage Rosenfels will make $1.45 million, punter Chris Kluwe is set to be paid $1.3 million and backup offensive lineman Joe Berger will get $1 million, to highlight a few.

    Harvin is to blame for his low salary.

    I'm not going with the usual rhetoric about honoring the contract. The reason Harvin has his current contract is about where he was drafted.

    At the NFL Combine in 2009, Harvin tested positive for marijuana. This lowered his draft status, and Harvin fell to the Vikings with the 22nd pick in the draft. While his talent and ability were not in question, many teams did not want to take a chance on him.

    Harvin has been a great selection for the Vikings, as was Randy Moss in 1998 when he fell to 21st for very similar reasons.

    Harvin needs to be patient. The Vikings have demonstrated, with huge contracts to Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen and Chad Greenway, that they take care of their stars. Harvin will no doubt be next in line, but the problem is, he has two years left on his current contract.

Percy Harvin Needs to Prove His Durability

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    Remember when playing PIG on the playground, after making the winning shot you had to prove it by making it again?

    Percy Harvin needs to prove it.

    In his three-year career, he has only been available for all 16 games one year.

    Over his first two seasons, he missed a total of three games because of migraines. Fortunately, the Vikings and Harvin have been able to find a way to control them, and he played in all 16 games last season.

    Harvin had minor shoulder surgery in April to just "clean things up." It's not expected to affect him at all for the season, but so far it has kept him out of practices for the team's OTAs.

    In a tweet on June 7, Harvin hinted that he may have overdone it in practice, tweeting, "There's no such thing as minor surgery trust me.... From prac tues hope I didn't over due it."

    Sports fans in Minnesota have been sensitized with "minor surgeries" that pose no problem for the upcoming season. If not for the minor surgery Joe Mauer had in December of 2010 that limited his play in 2011, we might not have ever heard about bilateral leg weakness. 

Percy Harvin Needs to Keep Getting Better

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    Percy Harvin has improved every year, increasing the number of receptions each season along with his total receiving yardage. While he has been the Vikings' leading receiver the past two seasons, he has yet to crack the 1,000-yard mark, the one mark by which all receivers are judged.

    A simple explanation is that he doesn't have a very good quarterback throwing to him, and that would be true last season.

    However, in his first two seasons, Brett Favre was under center and slinging the football around. Looking at Minnesota's successful season of 2009, when Favre led the Vikings to a 12-4 record, Harvin finished second to Sidney Rice in receiving yards.

Percy Harvin Is Not a Prototypical No. 1 Receiver

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    At 5"11" and 200 pounds, Percy Harvin does not fit the mold as a No. 1 receiver. He is just not built to the target lined up wide and to go deep.

    He's proven to be much more effective as a slot receiver, where he has more room to operate. In his first two seasons with the Vikings, Harvin played almost exclusively in the slot. Last season, because there really wasn't anyone else worth playing, he lined up outside more.

    Harvin's yards per catch dropped by more than two yards from 13.2 in 2009 to 11.1 in 2011. While that doesn't sound like much, more than a full season with 90 catches adds up to 189 yards.

    At 5'11", he comes up a tad short—approximately three inches, to be exact. The top 10 wide receivers in Vikings history average 6'2"; none of them were shorter than Harvin, and only two matched his height of 5'11". Cris Carter, who owns six of the top 10 single-season marks for the Vikings, is 6'3", and Randy Moss, who has two, is 6'4".