Should the New England Patriots Pursue Receiver Percy Harvin?

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

With Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd‘s future as New England Patriots up in the wind, this front office may want to take a look at the situation occurring in Minnesota pertaining to Percy Harvin.

According to NFL.com, the Minnesota Vikings will “indeed actively pursue a Harvin trade”. Reports also note that Harvin got into a huge confrontation with coach Leslie Frazier and teammates weren’t too fond of that. That may have been the real reason his season ended early.

Before you say that the Patriots brass wouldn’t want to deal with a player like Harvin who comes with a lot of baggage, think of this team’s past choices in some players: Randy Moss, Joseph Addai, Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth and most recently, Aqib Talib. Only two of the five that were mentioned were actually productive and Haynesworth/Addai didn’t even make it through their first seasons. And similarly to the players mentioned above, it’s noted that Bill Belichick loves Harvin’s game.

The article noted that the asking price for Harvin will be a second or third-round draft pick. If any team in the NFL places high value on their draft picks it’s the Patriots. They’ve already given up a fourth round pick earlier this season for Talib and with several holes in the defense, this could be the deciding factor in whether Harvin is wearing blue and silver to start next season.

Despite his troubles, Percy Harvin is an excellent receiver who could excel playing with Tom Brady. Remember Wes Welker when he first came in? The difference is Harvin would provide a down-the-field threat with his speed unlike Wes. And the stats back up his production. In the nine weeks he played in 2012-13, Harvin accumulated 677 yards and four touchdowns (1 rushing). At times he often made Christian Ponder look better than he was. Imagine him playing with Brady where his all-around talents could be maxed out.

There are two things that could keep New England away from him: injuries and money. Since his college days at the University of Florida, Harvin has dealt with multiple injuries including those in his knees and ankles. Last year he was shut down for the season after Week 9 due to a lingering ankle injury. Migraines have also been an issue.

Monetarily, there will be the team’s resilience to pay huge money. After the 2014 season, Harvin will be an unrestricted free agent. But his 2013 salary would be enough for them to take the chance especially if they don’t bring back Welker. Percy’s due almost $3 million next season and based on his recent production, that’s a steal. This situation seems familiar. Before Julius Peppers joined the Chicago Bears, the Pats had a chance to acquire him for a second-round pick, but the team didn’t want to give up a high pick and pay him his money when his contract ran up. A team that has a history of not wanting to pay receivers (Deion Branch, Randy Moss, Wes Welker) would be stuck in an awkward situation. Maybe age is the difference between those three and Harvin, but if we have to base things off the past, a trade isn’t looking to well for the club.

But it’s time for a new face and a new spark in this club. The best receivers currently on roster at the moment are the tight ends. It was noted that the Patriots didn’t have much speed on the offense and Harvin could provide that. His field stretching will make things easier on the running backs and every other receiver, but odds tell me they stay pat and bring in a Danny Amendola-esque player, low-risk, high reward, to do some of the heavy lifting.

Brady doesn’t have too much time left. And to compete in the thick of the AFC and find themselves back in the championship game, this move may be needed. Ultimately it’ll be up to Robert Kraft and Bill, but this would be a great way to replace a staple in the offense in Wes Welker.


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