Clearly, Percy Harvin is one unhappy mini-camper.
The explosive receiver, coming off his finest season to date, is not pleased about his current situation. Refreshingly, unlike with holdouts Matt Forte and Maurice Jones-Drew, money may not be the primary factor. Instead, Harvin's main resentment rests in on-field issues. Tuesday he told those in charge he wants to find a new employer as soon as possible. From the AP:
One day after expressing frustration over several unspecified issues with the Vikings, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Harvin has requested a trade.
Harvin voiced frustration with the Vikings on Tuesday at the first day of mandatory minicamp. He did not say what his specific issues were with the team, only saying that he was unhappy with several things and wanted them addressed before training camp begins at the end of July.
''I just put it this way, there's a lot of different things that have to be sorted out,'' Harvin said Tuesday. ''Just haven't been really happy lately. We've got a couple of things to work on. I'm here in the classroom. We'll go from there. …''
''I'm going to be honest with you guys. I've been watching tape, but it's just working on things from last year,'' Harvin said when asked about the offense. ''I'm into it, but like I said, I'm not happy with things, so I haven't really been in tune to (personnel) and stuff right now.
Many would describe Harvin's demands as laughable, baseless posturing by another spoiled Richie Rich. After all, this is a receiver, who despite his sensational talents, is a walking infirmary. A long history of migraines and other ailments (His latest: shoulder surgery) have prevented him from reaching his full potential. Critics would say he has to earn the right to make such a bold statement.
However, Percy has a point.
The former Florida standout chomped on the competition a season ago. He finished with a career-best 87-967-6 receiving line equal to 11.2 fantasy points per game, the 10th-best mark among eligible WRs. And that's not counting his rushing contributions. Considering he played only 58-percent of Minnesota's snaps last year, what he accomplished was nothing short of amazing. Just imagine what he could have achieved if he lined up on even 80-percent of his team's plays. Under that scenario he would have likely finished No. 2 behind Calvin Johnson among wideouts. And that's where Harvin's biggest gripe is. His highly competitive nature won't allow him to accept a partial role. He wants to be more involved, which he rightfully deserves. Leslie Frazier and staff's lack of creativity is criminal.
Harvin is arguably the league's most versatile player. The human Swiss Army knife can slice and dice opponents via special teams, Wildcat, end-around plays, on deep outside routes and, most often, in the slot. In this passing age, he is the ultimate nuclear weapon.
Yes, there are injury concerns. But, after playing in 16 games in '11, his migraines appear to be under control.
At this point, Minnesota's chances of dealing the 24-year-old before training camp are slim. The NFC North is absolutely loaded. And with Christian Ponder entering only his second-year, they need to give their QB every opportunity to succeed. Deal Harvin and the organization is only setting Ponder up for failure. Jerome Simpson is no No. 1. Also don't forget, despite the glowing reports about his recovery, Adrian Peterson has yet to absorb contact. Minus Harvin, the Vikes would be a whipping boy.
Pluses: Pat Shurmur runs a West Coast offense, which ideally fits Harvin's unique skill set. The offense as a whole is on the upswing. Trent Richardson provides plenty of balance. Greg Little and Mohamad Massaquoi present minimal competition for such an established threat. If Brandon Weeden's accuracy translates, Harvin would gash the competition.
Minuses: Fear of the unknown. Weeden looks great on tape and paper, but plenty of questions remain. With Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati in division, the schedule would be daunting. Chilly thoughts on Childress?
Pluses: Matt Schaub is back manning the controls. Harvin would have little to no competition for reps in the slot or opposite Andre Johnson. Would likely see many one-one-one opportunities assuming Andre recovers smoothly from offseason knee surgery. The Texans offense, when all parts are healthy, is extremely explosive.
Minuses: Make no mistake, Houston is Arian Foster's team. Remember, Schaub averaged over six passes per game less in 2011 compared to 2010. Workload may not be as high as you might think.
Pluses: 'Fins are a franchise desperate for star power. Chad Ochocinco was a step in the right direction, but netting Harvin would instantly add credibility in the pass game. Joe Philbin's Green Bay-styled system is a perfect fit. Would be the indisputable No. 1.
Minuses: Matt Moore is respectable, but at best is one one-millionth Dan Marino. Ryan Tannehill could be forced to learn on the fly if the veteran struggles early. Davone Bess is entrenched in the slot, which could force Harvin outside. Flexibility of Reggie Bush and Lamar Miller could reduce touches.
Bottom line: For now, Harvin's fantasy value remains unchanged. Going around pick No. 48 in average drafts (WR19) he is one of the better bargains out there, particularly in PPR formats. To be fair, risk is enhanced given the situation, but he is a sure-fire WR2 in 12-team formats with a high ceiling, pending on what colors he wears Week 1.
Regardless who he plays for in 2012, Percy needs to be unleashed.
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