BOSTON (CBS) – There are reports out of Minnesota that say the Vikings will look to trade receiver Percy Harvin this off-season.
Should that be the case, the New England Patriots will likely be one of the many teams interested in his services.
The 24-year-old Harvin is a gifted receiver who caught 62 passes for 677 yards and three touchdowns over nine games in 2012, in addition to averaging 36-yards on his 16 kickoff returns — including one touchdown. Harvin finished the season on the IR with an ankle injury, but it’s a reported blowout he had with head coach Leslie Frazier late in the season that has the Vikings wanting to send him out of town.
The Patriots worked the Florida product during the 2009 NFL Draft combine, but the Vikings scooped him up with the 22nd-overall pick in the draft. Bill Belichick reportedly liked Harvin coming out of college, thanks in large part to his buddy Urban Meyer being in charge at Florida, but it’s not hard to see why Belichick felt that way. Harvin has 20 touchdowns and 280 receptions over his first four seasons, with four more rushing touchdowns and five kickoff returns for a score as well, and would be a great addition to the New England offense should they choose to part ways with Wes Welker.
But the big question with Harvin is, what will he cost? Though the Vikings are sour on the receiver, and he only has one-year left on his rookie contract, Minnesota will still likely command a hefty bounty in return which would involved multiple early-round draft picks.
The Patriots currently have just five selections in the upcoming draft, so the question would be how much are they willing to part with for a potential one-year rental.
Other questions surround Harvin’s health and off-the-field issues. He also reportedly had moments with former Minnesota head coach Brad Childress, and in addition to the ankle injury, battled migraines early in his career that cost him a few games here and there. The off-the-field issues could be solved in a winning atmosphere, Tom Brady throwing him the ball instead of Christian Ponder, and the handful of former Gators the Patriots have on their roster. But the injuries could be a concern if the Patriots are looking for Harvin to become their over-the-middle threat and fill Welker’s shoes in the future.
Acquiring a player like Harvin, no matter what the cost, would inject the Patriots receiving core with youth, and give Brady another dynamic target. He would also help in the return game, a place the Patriots have lacked mightily over the last few seasons.
Right now it’s all just speculation (would you expect anything else from the NFL in mid-February?), but until the Vikings say they’re holding on to Harvin or actually trade him, rumors of him landing anywhere, including the Patriots, will be out there.
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