Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nothing Adds Up In Harvin Trade

On Monday, the Minnesota Vikings traded their sole proven wide-receiver, Percy Harvin.  The trade netted the Vikings the 25th pick in the first round of this year's draft and a third- and seventh-round pick.  Some Vikings' fans are ecstatic, pointing to the purported "haul" that the Vikings received for Harvin.  There is little reason to be even remotely happy about this dead, however.

That the picks are not adequate compensation for a player of Harvin's abilities is indisputable.  The Vikings, however, have manipulated the conversation, offering the given that Harvin was damaged goods in the public eye.  Of course, he was damaged goods because the Vikings damaged him.  They started the ball rolling down hill when they offered tight end John Carlson $25 million last off-season when Harvin was receiving a pittance in comparison--and that was before Carlson produced 43 receiving yards over the entire 2012 season.

The Vikings exacerbated the Harvin situation by standing by struggling quarterback Christian Ponder in the face of public and private criticism from Harvin regarding the play of the quarterback and the need for a quarterback who can produce at the NFL level.  Harvin was put in his place and the Vikings sent yet another signal to Ponder that they will do all that they can to protect his apparent egg-shell psyche.

Despite being cleared to play at the end of last season, the Vikings perpetuated the wedge with Harvin, opting to deactivate him.  Harvin was further disenchanted and the Vikings were further emboldened, by their own design, to view Harvin as a problem rather than a solution.

Moving Harvin saved the Vikings approximately $10 million per year in cap space.  Minnesota finished last season with approximately $12 million in unspent cap space that could have been used to sign Harvin with a more limited cap hit going forward had the team taken a one-year roster bonus cap hit on the contract with the remainder of the contract pro-rated at approximately $8 million per year over the remainder of the contract.

After the Harvin trade, the Vikings are left without a proven wide receiver, without one of the top players in the NFL, and with a late first-round pick that they hope to parlay into a player remotely as good as Harvin.  They would be fortunate even to come close.

Up Next:  Vikings Blow Boldin Deal--If It Even Matters.  Plus, with a stadium deal done--but for the unreported revenue stream negotiations--the Vikings offer yet another page from the Twins' financial handbook.

1 comment:

Cyd said...

Not sure I agree. While Harvin is a tremendous talent, he is an abysmal teammate. If Peterson cannot bring a championship all by himself to Minnesota, then I cannot believe Harvin can either as it does take an entire team effort to win. Harvin could have joined the team, despite being deactivated and rehabbing to show his support to his teammates but he chose not to. His demeanor has been the same since he was a youth and he has always had issues with authority so I do not think the Vikings are solely to blame here.

Could the team have handled this better? Sure, but I think the path was set when Harvin began complaining, first about money then about Ponder. If he was simply a team player, just like Peterson, he would have gotten a deal.