The New England Patriots have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to their free agent wide receivers. Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and seldom used Deion Branch are all free agents. The Patriots also may decide to cut Brandon Lloyd after the receiver had a disappointing season in 2012, catching 74 passes for 911 yards and just four touchdowns. The Patriots will likely bolster their receiver core via free agency, the draft or perhaps a trade. One interesting name to consider is Percy Harvin, who the Minnesota Vikings have made clear it wants to trade after the troubled wide receiver had a tirade with Head Coach Leslie Frazier.
Percy Harvin appeared in just nine games for the Vikings this year but was still able to put up some incredible numbers. Harvin had 62 receptions for 677 yards and three touchdowns and added 22 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Harvin excelled in the slot position at wide receiver last year, catching 74.3 percent of the passes thrown his way, according to Pro Football Focus. Harvin also dropped an NFL best one pass in 80 targets this year, proving he is a reliable wide-out with great hands. Harvin is also reliable in special teams as he has returned at least one kickoff back for a touchdown in all four years he has played in the NFL.
Trading for Harvin is not a risk financially as he is set to make $2.9 million this year in his final year of his four-year contract. But Harvin’s behavior issues could make the trade a hazard. Harvin disrespected his coach Frazier last year in what was described as an “embarrassing tirade”, angering his fellow teammates. The Vikings subsequently put the embattled receiver on injured reserve, ending his season abruptly.
Bill Belichick has been able to straighten up troubled players in the past such as Randy Moss, Chad Johnson and just recently cornerback Aqib Talib so taking on Harvin might not be that much of a burden for Belichick. The question then, is whether the Patriots want to trade away its draft picks to the Vikings in exchange for Harvin. The Vikings will likely want a first round pick in return or the combination of a second round and third round pick for Harvin. Percy Harvin, who could make the Patriots no-huddle offense he even more versatile, may be worth trading away future draft picks, especially if Wes Walker decides to leave via free agency.