I have said many times over the last few months that Percy Harvin is not in the drivers seat when it comes to this game of chicken he is supposedly playing with Minnesota’s front office.
Harvin has one more year on his contract. Any sort of holdout would almost certainly end 10 weeks into the 2013 season, which would give the Vikings a healthy Harvin heading down the stretch towards the playoffs, and his pay would be decreased with every passing week that he isn’t in uniform. After that he could, if the Vikings so desired, be retained via the franchise tag for two more years.
Still, the Vikings would surely prefer to sign their talented young receiver to a reasonable long-term contract and put this whole situation to bed. Dwayne Bowe’s recent contract with the Chiefs, however, could widen the gap between what Harvin think is reasonable and what the team thinks is reasonable.
Bowe signed a five year deal worth up to $56 million, which included a $15 million signing bonus. The deal includes a total of $26 million and places Bowe into the top three highest paid receivers in the NFL. Harvin and his agent, however, would almost certainly like to knock Bowe into fourth place very soon.
Harvin has never had a 1,000 yard receiving year, while Bowe has had three, and unlike Bowe he has never caught double-digit touchdowns in a season. Harvin, however, provides multiple dimensions to his game via taking snaps as a running back and being one of the NFL’s best kick returners. There is little arguing that both are game changers, but there is also little arguing that Harvin is prone to change a game a hell of a lot faster.
Harvin is four years younger than Bowe, as well, so it is safe to assume that he will be expecting his second contract to be one that pays him in excess of what Bowe is now going to be earning.
Back in December I speculated that Harvin would command a five year deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $55 million, with $25 million in guarantees.
Now, after seeing Bowe’s new deal, I am guessing it is going to have to be somewhere closer to $60 million with $30 million guaranteed.