The Minnesota Vikings appear poised to trade talented, but reportedly dysfunctional, wide receiver Percy Harvin this offseason. We take a look at five teams who could make a run for Harvin.
Percy Harvin could be traded by the Minnesota Vikings this offseason, and unfortunately for the Vikings, Harvin joins an already-loaded list of wide receivers that are available this offseason -- hurting Minnesota's leverage in trade talks.
Details surfaced over the last few days that Harvin was openly disrespectful to Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, and that the team simply won't tolerate insubordination from anybody -- not even a player as dynamic as Harvin.
Still, Harvin's skill-set is unique, and he certainly could fetch the Vikings at least a second-round and later-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Entering his contract year, it's unlikely that teams will line up to surrender their first-round pick, especially with players like Mike Wallace and Dwayne Bowe currently available in unrestricted free agency.
Harvin finished the season with 62 catches for 677 yards and three touchdowns, despite appearing in only nine games before being placed on injured reserve. Harvin also added 574 return yards on kickoffs, including an 105-yard touchdown.
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If the Vikings do trade Harvin, they'll have no shortage of suitors -- despite the loaded free agent market. Here's a look at five potential suitors for Harvin's services.
St. Louis Rams -- The Rams have extra draft picks for the foreseeable future, thanks to the Robert Griffin III trade. Sam Bradford does look like a legitimate NFL quarterback, but, like any quarterback in the NFL, he needs help. Harvin would be the most dynamic receiver Bradford has ever worked with, and certainly would give St. Louis' offense some explosion that it needs. With the 49ers and Seahawks emerging as legitimate NFC powers, the Rams will need to do something to keep up with the other NFC West teams.
New England Patriots -- New England's 2013 offense is currently in disarray. Wes Welker's status is unknown, and it's certainly possible that Tom Brady's favorite target isn't with the Patriots in 2013. Even if the Patriots retain Welker, they need an explosive threat on offense to complement Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and Harvin could be just that. Bill Belichick illustrated that he's willing to roll the dice on a player in a contract year (Aqib Talib), so it wouldn't be surprising to see him do it again, for a chance at a fourth Super Bowl ring.
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Miami Dolphins -- If Brian Hartline leaves via free agency, Miami's wide receivers will rank among the league's worst -- at least for now. Miami has been linked to Greg Jennings, because of Jennings' connection with Miami head coach Joe Philbin. Even if the Dolphins ink Jennings, they'll still need to surround Ryan Tannehill with more talent. Acquiring Harvin would give Dolphins fans plenty of reason for optimism in 2013.
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San Francisco 49ers -- Randy Moss will almost certainly leave San Francisco this season, and Mario Manningham is a bit of a question mark coming off of a major knee injury. Adding Harvin to an offense that includes Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Colin Kaepernick would potentially be unfair -- which is why it makes perfect sense for the 49ers to, at least, knock on Minnesota's door.
San Diego Chargers -- Mike McCoy is an offensive-minded head coach, and he knows first-hand, coming from Denver, that there's a new top dog in the AFC West. San Diego has a talented roster, and Phillip Rivers is a talented quarterback, but the team needs help at wide receiver. Danario Alexander isn't a sure bet to stay healthy, and Malcolm Floyd doesn't exactly strike fear into the heart of opposing defensive coordinators.
There will be plenty of other suitors for Harvin, but the Rams, Patriots, Dolphins, Niners and Chargers seem to make the most sense. Each team is either in contention or near contention, and each team has an obvious need at wide receiver.
That Harvin is entering his contract year complicates trade scenarios slightly, but if teams are serious about winning in 2013, they'll worry about 2014 and beyond when they get there.