The Pi-Press’ Tom Powers is an annoying columnist that I read only when the title of his column sounds interesting. In the aftermath of the Vikings trade of Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks, Powers wrote a column titled Vikings trading Percy Harvin is logical – and wrong. That piqued my curiosity. Here’s part of Powers’ illogic:
Whether they had no choice but to trade him is up for debate. What we know for sure is that they 1) wouldn’t pay him; and 2) couldn’t get along with him. So they are sending him to Seattle for draft choices.
Actually, the debate over whether the Vikings should keep Harvin ended when the Strib’s Vikings beat writers broke the story that Harvin contemplated walking out on his teammates at midseason last year.
While it would be unfair to call him the Vikings version of J.R. Rider, it isn’t unfair to say that he’s a temperamental, talented football player. Anyone that’s willing to stage a walkout on his teammates while they’re making a playoff run is cancer.
In this case, Harvin was a cancer with an expiring contract.
This might be Rick Spielman’s best trade yet. First, he essentially told Harvin to not let the door hit him where the Good Lord split him, thereby ridding the Vikings of a talent-filled cancer. Next, he essentially extorted a king’s ransom from Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks. Now Harvin is their problem on a short contract.
Here’s what the Vikings got in exchange for an oft-injured, though talented, playmaker:
Vikings get: First- and seventh-round selections in next month’s draft, plus a third-round pick in 2014. That first-rounder is the 25th overall pick (the Vikings already own the 23rd pick).
Seahawks get: Percy Harvin, the moody but multitalented wide receiver who scored 29 touchdowns in four seasons (54 games) with the Vikings (20 receiving, four rushing, five on kick returns).
This gets better when you put this in context. The Vikings own the 23rd and 25th picks in this year’s draft. According to Scout.com, they’ll have their own picks in the second, third, fifth and sixth rounds in addition to having 2 picks in the fourth round and 3 picks in the 7th round.
To put that in perspective, here’s a little of Spielman’s draft history in the later rounds: Spielman paired his second round pick last year with a fourth round pick to trade back into the first round. That pick turned into Harrison Smith. Smith looks like he’ll be in the Vikings secondary for the next 8-10 years. The fourth round has been especially productive for Spielman. That’s where he drafted USC DE Everson Griffen and Texas DE Brian Robison. It’s also where he drafted WR Jarius Wright in last year’s draft.
It’s best not to overlook the fact that the Vikings used a sixth round pick in last year’s draft to pick All Pro placekicker Blair Walsh. All Walsh did as a rookie was make the All Pro team while setting an NFL record by hitting all 10 of his kicks beyond 50 yards.
Now that the Vikings have two first round picks, they can take a run at NY Giants WR Victor Cruz. The Giants tendered him as a first round pick, meaning a team signing Cruz would have to give the Giants a first round pick if the Giants don’t match the offer sheet.
If that’s what happens, the Vikings will have traded Harvin for Cruz, a Pro Bowl WR, a third round pick in next year’s draft and a seventh round pick. That isn’t just a good deal. That’s close to highway robbery.
If the Vikings can’t sign Cruz, they can take a shot at Mike Wallace or Greg Jennnings, then console themselves knowing that they’ve got the 23rd and 25th picks to strengthen their wide receivers, their defensive line, their secondary or a combination thereof.
According to Scott Wright’s mock draft, the Vikings will have their choice of WRs Deandre Hopkins and Keenan Allen, defensive linemen like Sylvester Williams or a corner like Desmond Trufant. Each of these players wouild help the Vikings immediately.
Those are some pretty positive options created by a trade that makes sense but that shouldn’t have happened.
Tags: Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks, NFL Free Agency, Minnesota Vikings, Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace, Unrestricted Free Agents, Victor Cruz, Restricted Free Agents, NFL Draft, Draft Countdown, Mock Drafts