The story broke on Saturday that wide receiver Percy Harvin is fed up with the Minnesota Vikings, and has demanded that he be traded. While the writing has been on the wall for some time, GM Rick Spielman appeared to be holding out hope that the two parties could come to an understanding.
Saturday’s news made some interesting information that surfaced on Friday even more so as the Harvin soap opera drags on.
According to Shawn Zobel of Draft Headquarters, the Vikings have a standing offer for Harvin.
“I was told this afternoon that the Vikings have an offer of a 2nd [round] pick on the table from a team for Percy Harvin. They want a 1st Rounder,” Zobel said via Twitter.
While Zobel doesn’t name the potential trade partner, it’s intriguing to think that the Vikings already have an offer in waiting for their troublesome wide receiver. The only remaining question is what the Vikings will be willing to accept in order to ship off Harvin.
Zobel says that the Vikings want a first-round pick instead of a second-rounder as compensation for Harvin, but that might be too hefty a price. Not to say that Harvin’s talent level isn’t worth a first-round pick, but teams will be wary about parting with such a valuable pick in return for an injury-prone wide receiver with character issues.
Harvin was already known to have had off-field concerns during his college days at Florida, but the latest spat with the Vikings proves that he’s capable of being a volatile character and locker room presence. While his talents can’t be denied, there’s quite a bit of risk in trading for a player with these types of issues. That risk could force the Vikings to take the short end of the stick.
On a positive note, the Vikings do have a bit of leverage that could force someone to cough up a first-rounder if their interest is high enough. Harvin is under contract through 2013, so the Vikings can keep him on the team for another year regardless of whether he holds out or not. They also have the option to franchise tag him for the next two seasons. The possibility of keeping him off of the market for three years could force the hand of another team eager to bring Harvin aboard.
The Vikings were already short at wide receiver, and will have to rebuild the position from the ground up if Harvin jumps ship. An extra draft pick – especially a first-rounder – could be just what Minnesota needs to inject some life into their receiving corps, though.
The fact that it has deteriorated to this point is disappointing. The Vikings put up with Harvin and gave him a vote of confidence, and he threw it back in their faces. Who’s to say that won’t happen with his next team?