Whether it be his time under Urban Meyer at Florida or his time playing for Brad Childress or his more recent days playing for Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin always seems to leave a trail of not-so-flattering dirt behind him.  The problem for the media, both national and local, seems to be that by the time they report any dirt on Harvin it is pretty well embedded into the past.

The most recent report that put Harvin in the crosshairs came from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports and claims that Harvin nearly walked out on the Vikings after news broke that his former teammate at Florida, tight end Aaron Hernandez, received a nifty contract extension from the Patriots.  As Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN points out, Hernandez signed his contract extension on August 27th which was the final week of the preseason, and no reports of a Harvin-related incident has previously been reported from that time period.

Cole also goes onto say that the Vikings have yet to make an offer to Harvin, and that Harvin’s agent has yet to make an offer to the Vikings, but that is is believed Harvin wants to be paid significantly more than Dwayne Bowe and Vincent Jackson are getting under their current contracts.  He reportedly would like to see a contact more in the neighborhood of Calvin Johnson’s eight year deal worth up to $132 million.

While Harvin claimed last offseason that his sudden tirade during the offseason, where he reportedly demanded a trade, was not about the money but was instead about other issues within the offense.  More recent reports indicate, however, that Harvin’s contract demands are what is standing in the way of an extension or even a trade.

Despite all the fairly clear evidence against Harvin and the way he handles himself, I have to wonder about the timing of Cole’s report and the motives that his unnamed sources might have.  Cole writes that the Vikings “fear” that Harvin will hold out in 2013 as long as he allowed (week 10), while still accruing a year of service, and aim to be an unrestricted free agent.  Part of that “fear” stems from worries that he would be such a pain in the ass when he did eventually return, that they wouldn’t even want to consider retaining his rights via the franchise tag.

I personally don’t see any legitimate reason the Vikings have to “fear” a Harvin hold out.  If he comes back in week 10, presumably very healthy, he will likely be advised by his agent that he is playing for his new contract still and will have major motivation to impress anyone watching during his truncated season.  Harvin would have to completely destroy his own reputation along the way if this ever got to the point that he wouldn’t be a franchise tag candidate and valuable trade bait.  Maybe I am foolish or ignorant, but nothing about a hold out situation scares me.

I’m not sure what the motive was here, but Cole’s sources didn’t push this “new” look into Harvin’s attitude on the eve of free agency (essentially) by coincidence.  It seems very calculated, actually.

And, like I have said a gazillion times this offseason, plenty of options still exist here.  The whole Harvin saga could end on Monday, or it could continue for another eight years, or something in between those two scenarios.

The only thing I know for sure, however, is that neither Jason Cole or his source have any idea how all of this is going to end up.


  1. This latest report is also the lamest. He threatens to walk out after the other troubled Florida pass catcher signs what was a solid but unspectacular deal? What was his plan exactly? As PFT pointed out, the team would have slapped a 5 day letter on him and his options would have been to return or lose an accrued season towards free agency. As far as a hold out goes, if he seriously wants to be paid like Calvin, he’s going to need to show up and stay healthy for a full season. There is no team in the league that will pay him that much until he puts up some ridiculous #’s, and he won’t be able to do that if he only plays 6 games at the end of the season.
    I’m starting to wonder if the best solution for both the team and Harvin would be a new short-term contract, say a three year deal that replaces the current year he has with a ton of incentive type clauses that could pay him a ransom if he actually prooves he can stay on the field. He could make the money he wants now and have a shot to cash in another big-time contract because he would still be relatively young when it expires. It would be a smart way to go for both the team and Percy, because as several of us have pointed out, he’s not going to do himself any favors by being a malcontent and forcing his way out.

  2. I think NFL teams view this kind of story as a Soap Opera…
    As Adam stated, Look at the timing. There is going to be so much crap flying around till Tuesday, Then guys will start getting signed !
    Eventually we will find out the truth with Percy.

  3. espn’s nfl live started off with the harvin ordeal tonight, but no answers. adam, send me a plane ticket to florida and i’ll stalk percy into giving me his side of the story, ok? i might even embellish a little, too. you get exclusive rights

  4. A 10 week hold out would surely get his exit from the team… why would the Vikings let him come back for the final 6 games just to let him walk away as a free agent. (those last 6 games would give Harvin a chance to increase his value and also get a pay check from the Vikings) That is exactly what Harvin would want!

    That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Spielman and Frazier are smarter than that.

    Dan- I like your idea of a short term contract that would give Harvin more money… But I have a feeling those options have already been talked about with Harvin’s agent.

    Harvin signed a long rookie deal so that leads me to believe he wants another long term deal. (I never could understand why a rookie would want to sign 5 year deal)

    If the Vikings are going to sign him they will wait until training camp or as long as they can before the season starts. They are in no hurry…

    If the Vikings have no intention to sign him… He will be traded before the draft.

    All other Harvin stories before the real news happens is just old news and not worth my time!

    • Haha, I’m on a roll this week. Making mistakes and now writing the dumbest stuff ever :)

      I’ve been saying this all offseason so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that I think this. Percy holding out until week 10 means we get him back for the homestretch with a chip on his shoulder… And can then tag & sign or tag & trade. If the Vikings see fit, they can hold his rights through until 2016.

      Is it as good of an option as signing him to a reasonable extension or trading him away for a boatload of picks? No way.

      Is it better than paying him like Calvin or taking a crappy trade offer? Yes.

  5. Adam- I still think you are the brightest bulb in the lamp…
    Ok it is not the dumbest thing I have ever heard… I may have stretched that a bit….
    but I think you are stretching things a bit if you think the Vikings’ organization and fan base will just welcome Harvin back on week 11 and all will live happily ever after.

    Adam- correcting if I am wrong… but let’s say the Vikings and the fans welcome Harvin back with open arms on week 11… And the Vikings place a franchise tag on him as you say. I think Harvin still has the option NOT to sign the tag??

    • Haha, don’t worry, I can take it :)

      Harvin, or anyone else, can refrain from signing a franchise tender, yes. But that could mean losing a whole year of football and getting no closer to being unrestricted.


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