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Bowe’s Deal Gives Harvin Some Leverage

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.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. I still maintain that until Harvin shows he can be a number one receiver for an entire season, it will be hard for his agent to make a case that he should be paid as a number one. If I’m the Vikings, I’m going to point out that Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush are great runner/receivers/returners, and I believe the total of the two contracts they signed as free agents don’t add up to what Bowes total guarantee was on his new deal. Determining his value is extemely hard. He’s a #1 playmaker, not a #1 receiver. I personally think a deal that averages $8 million a year for Percy would be about right, but I think he will get more than that when all is said and done.

  2. As an organization, the Vike will work very hard to compare Cheech to a utility running back when the stats help make their case and a #1 receiver when the stats help make their case. They will pick and choose to point out where he is weak in each category against the top guys. The NFL has always been big on slotting guys into specific buckets for payment. Cheech doesn’t fit well into either a running back or receiver slot (from a negotiation standpoint). Therefore they can discount his value during negotiations.

    This doesn’t mean he isn’t a great player who brings great value to a team, it simply means that he can’t line up against one position alone and say, look at my stats and pay me accordingly.

    Dude will get his money, but as Dan points out, old Percy still has some proving to do over the long haul before he can say he is a number one receiver.

    Your old pal Fragile still believes the Hash Monster will be wearing purple next year. But with that being said, Freds is usually way off on most matter, so there ya go.

  3. Spielman has compared Harvin to AP as a “Blue Chip Game Changer”… the position doesn’t matter… Blue Chip running backs and Blue Chip WRs both make big money.

    AP signed a 7 year 96 million contract. Yes, Percy will want big money! The question is, does Percy want to be a Vikings? And do the Vikings want him? Questions need answered!

    Putting Harvin on IR last year accomplished 1 thing… Getting Harvin out of town.

    The reason was to protect Harvin… well Harvin wasn’t playing anyway?????

    The roster spot was given to OL Troy Kropog… but our OL seemed to be pretty healthy.

    My point is the IR move wasn’t really necessary, unless he was too big of a distraction.

    Adam, If the Vikings are ok with letting Harvin hold out the first 10 weeks… Why would they want him back down the stretch… when they didn’t want him down the stretch last year?

    Yes, I can see Harvin holding out a very long time… and Yes, I can see the Vikings being ok with it for awhile.

    If the Vikings are in the drivers seat, you might want to let them know they need the keys to make the buggy run. Waiting 10 weeks into the season to start the car would be very ugly… I think Harvin will be traded or cut before week 10… no way the Vikings would want him back in the locker room at that time, especially if they are in the playoff hunt with out him.

  4. all very good points so far in this thread. i’m sure harvin’s agent will point out that percy was an mvp-type player before his injury last year to maximize a deal, and i hope we can keep him. he’s so versatile and can do a lot of things, he’s a big problem for opponents, and he allows us to maybe use another roster spot for something else. pay him and get a couple of bigger WRs for ponder. in the end, it’s still all about ponder’s developing into a better qb this year