March 11, 2013
Vikings receiver Percy Harvin reportedly wants out of Minnesota. He also reportedly wants to be paid like Lions receiver Calvin Johnson.
But Harvin is overlooking one important reality. He'll have to find a team that wants him, and a team that will pay him what he wants.
As one NFL front-office source explains it, Harvin and his agent forget that a large portion of the league had him off of their draft boards in 2009, due to his reputation for being a pain in the posterior.
In Minnesota, the Vikings have done a nice job of keeping Harvin from being too much of a problem, at least publicly. Under former coach Brad Childress, then-defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier often was the peacekeeper. Now that Harvin and Frazier reportedly had a "heated exchange" that preceded Harvin's placement on injured reserve, Harvin may be out of allies in Minnesota.
That doesn't mean he'll have friends elsewhere. Especially if he gets the kind of money he wants. If/when (if) he cashes in, Harvin will be largely untouchable, free to do what he wants, how he wants, when he wants.
Even though there are plenty of desperate coaches and General Managers in the NFL, there's a difference between desperation and stupidity. For Harvin, the key word could be delusion.
If there's no team who will both trade for him and pay him, he'll continue to be the property of the Vikings. And the manner in which he handles himself during the final year of his contract will go a long way toward shaping the extent to which other teams will, or won't, be interested in him once he hits the open market.
And if he decides to hold out, the Vikings can fine him hundreds of thousands of dollars and, if he doesn't show up by Week 10, squat on his rights through 2014.