Friday, July 31, 2015

percy harvin

I think we here at VT have done a pretty good job of beating this roster to death from an analysis standpoint since the season ended, and if we missed something we are sure to club it over the head prior to April’s Draft.  So, instead of being incredibly redundant and boring with some sort of Pre-Free Agency guide, I wanted to just run through each position and give you a quick thought.  A little something to chew on while you wait for the bell to toll midnight on Tuesday, if you will.

QB:  I am one of the remaining few that thinks Joe Webb still has value to this team as a scout team quarterback since they have struggled with mobile quarterbacks recently and have a bunch of them on the 2013 schedule.  Still, the Vikings need to find someone with a little more poise to be the primary backup to Christian Ponder (and maybe give him a little competition) and early indications are that the best option available via free agency might be Drew Stanton.  Stanton being the best available is not saying much, though.

RB:  If the Vikings are going to deal Percy Harvin away then why not chase a guy like Reggie Bush to be a backup to Adrian Peterson, step in on key passing downs, contribute on special teams, and occasionally run routes out of the slot?  He might have been a little disappointing after being so heralded in college, but he is still a heck of a player and seems to be holding up pretty well.  Oh, and if we don’t get him, the Lions just might.

FB:  The Vikings are trying to be conservative (i.e. cheap) by letting all of their free agents talk to other interested teams instead of just getting deals done.  This might save them some cap space here and there, but I think it will also bite them in the ass at least once.  I hope the risk doesn’t end up with Jerome Felton cashing in on his big year with any other team.

And the saga continues…

Last night Sid Hartman was the first to uncork the Percy-Requests-Trade bottle and now Shawn Zobel, of Draft Headquarters, gives us our first report of an offer.

Zobel tweeted the information Friday night before Hartman’s article was posted Saturday.

Anyways, Zobel claims that the Vikings have a standing offer on the table for Percy Harvin in the form of a second round pick.  Zobel doesn’t name which team has made the offer but he does say that the Vikings are holding out for a first round offer.

 

Sid Hartman, the oldest member of the Vikings Cheerleading Team, is at it again.

For a guy that normally uses this time of year to boost the morale of fanbase, Hartman has decided to pass along a disheartening piece of information about the Percy Harvin saga, just in time for Sunday morning’s paper.

Hartman says that he has gotten word from “some good sources” in the NFL that the troubled receiver has told the Vikings that he no longer wants to play for them and would like to be traded.  Additionally, Hartman says there is no way that Harvin would be reporting for duty when the Vikings begin offseason workouts on April 22nd, which is not a surprise to anyone that is paying attention.

I have noticed over the years that Hartman seems more than willing to be a pawn in the Vikings public relations efforts, and I can’t help but wonder where Hartman got this information and what motives the “sources” had for leaking it, and I find it interesting that Hartman goes out of his way to point out the leverage the Vikings still have in this situation and give credence to Rick Spielman’s assertions that the team will not be trading Harvin.

One must keep in mind that Spielman and his staff are currently fighting a war on two fronts.  They have to balance between maintaining leverage with Harvin, in case negotiations do eventually take place, and also maintain a good game face to maximize their selling price if it comes down to a trade scenario.  Hartman seems to do a good job of helping Spielman out on both fronts with this latest report.

This could all be over as soon as Tuesday.  It may also last right up until Draft Day in April, or even longer.  In theory, this thing could play out over the course of the next couple of years, but that is sounding less and less likely with every report that comes out.

Short of an actual trade, the Vikings signing one of the top free agent receivers available this offseason would be the surest sign of all that the Vikings are ready to move on and will work hard towards shipping Harvin out of town.  Ironically enough, it could be Harvin’s contract demands that prevent a deal from taking place quickly.

I decided to stay awake as long as I could during this new, weird free agency (but not really) deal that the NFL is doing these days.

I was able to find out one thing that should have been obvious to us all:  The Vikings called the agents of receivers Mike Wallace and Greg Jennings.

Those reports come from Pro Football Central and otherwise have absolutely no detail.

So, yeah, glad I stayed awake.

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.

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