If reports out of Minnesota are to be believed, Percy Harvin's days in the Twin Cities will soon come to a close. Six weeks ago Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com reported that Harvin and Vikings coach Leslie Frazier were having problems getting along. Late last week Minnesota G.M. Rick Spielman stopped short of quelling rumors that Harvin would be traded in an interview with Paul Allen and Paul Charchian on KFAN. Furthermore, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder referred to Harvin in the past tense saying that he “was a good teammate,” in an interview with KFAN last month.
So if Harvin is leaving Minnesota, where does he land?
It is unlikely Harvin will fetch a first round draft pick when the entire league knows the Vikings are trying to trade him. Cincinnati and Miami have extra second round picks this year while San Francisco and the Dolphins are armed with additional third round selections.
The value of a high quality and available wide receiver seems to be in the second to third round range. Brandon Marshall went from Denver to Miami for two second round picks and from the Dolphins to Chicago for a pair of third round selections. Anquan Boldin, at age 29, was sent from Arizona to Baltimore for a third, fourth, and fifth round pick. During the 2008 season the Cowboys gave up a first, third, and sixth round pick to acquire Detroit's Roy Williams.
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Miami certainly needs weapons to surround Ryan Tannehill with. The Dolphins have cap space, extra draft picks, and may or may not resign top target Brian Hartline. Miami lacked explosive playmakers last season, and Harvin is a home run hitter who went to the University of Florida. However, the Fins were burned by one diva receiver in Marshall, and probably are not one piece away from the playoffs.
Harvin would provide another weapon to compliment Robert Griffin III and Albert Morris in Washington. Redskin receivers struggled in 2012, and Harvin would be a constant downfield threat. However, the Skins already are without first round picks this year and next because of their swap to acquire Griffin with St. Louis, and therefore free agency seems the more likely means of upgrading wideouts in Washington.
Baltimore and Carolina both make some sense, especially if the Ravens let Boldin go, but both teams have salary cap issues and are probably longshots. That leaves three teams on the cusp of greatness, in need of a wideout, and with some resources to spend.
Andrew Luck was sensational in his rookie year with the Colts and Reggie Wayne was as dependable a target as anybody in the NFL. Wayne is 34 years old and no longer catches a lot of deep passes. How much longer Wayne can play, and how confident the Colts are in T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery make this a difficult decision. Indianapolis is also without a second round pick this year because of their trade to acquire Miami defensive back Vontae Davis.
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As good a rookie campaign as Luck had, Seattle's Russell Wilson was every bit as awesome. Marshawn Lynch is a workhorse back and Robert Turbin may be the heir apparent at tailback. Meanwhile, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, and Doug Baldwin inspire little confidence. Harvin would be a dynamic fit in Pete Carroll's offense with an ability to do a wide variety of things.
Harvin could be just as valuable to the Seahawks division rival San Francisco. The Niners already have Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, but little else on the outside. Randy Moss is just about finished. If the Patriots are difficult to defend with the trio of Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, and Rob Gronkowski, what defensive scheme can contain Crabtree, Davis, and Harvin? With the threat of Colin Kaepernick running plus Harvin's ability to return kicks, he could be the player that puts the 49ers over the top.
Wherever Harvin lands he will generate buzz and contribute if healthy. If he can get along with his teammates and coaches he can be a player that changes the fortune of a franchise.