If you are a regular listener of our live podcasts, you may remember a conversation we had in the pre-season regarding Percy Harvin. The conversation revolved around rumors that Harvin and the Vikings didn't see eye-to-eye on various things - mostly money - and that the Vikings may try to move the dynamic receiver. My co-hosts, Laura Calaway and Rohan Bhasin, were steadfast in their position that the Colts should pass up any opportunity to acquire the enigmatic Harvin.
I had a slightly different opinion. Given his uniqe play making ability, I said the Colts should go for it, assuming the cost would be something less than a 1st round pick. Harvin would have far more talent than anyone in rounds 2-7, but he's not without risks. The argument ended as most do: with me being right. I tried to force a meme out of the situation: 2nd round pick and $14MM - the fake, exaggerated price I was willing to pay for Harvin - would be the benchmark for all of our player-acquisition discussions (Dwayne Bowe, Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace: worth a 2nd round pick and $14 MILLION dollars? Who they think they are, Chelsea Clinton?)
So here we are, 6 months later, and Percy Harvin's name is once again making the rounds through the rumor mill.
Before we talk about why he might be available, let's talk about what he is. While Adrian Peterson won the award for being the 2012 NFL MVP, the dirty little secret that no one who voted on the award wants to discuss is that Peterson wasn't even the MVP of his own team through the first half of the season. That title belonged to Harvin, who was putting up impressive stats despite 1) playing with QB Christian Ponder 2) having no other credible receiving threat on the team to draw coverages away from him 3) having Adrian Peterson get off to a relatively slow start.
Harvin had 62 catches for 677 yards and 3 TDs in 9 games, or a 16-game pace of: 110 catches for 1203 yards, and 5 TDs, as well as 171 yards and 2 TDs in the ground game. On top of that, he's only 24 years old with room to improve and he's a great return man.
In other words, Percy Harvin is the kind of dynamic receiving threat every team would love to have.
So why are the Vikings, a team that is desperate for offensive threats, considering dealing him? While money is always an issue, it may not be the biggest issue in this case. Reports from Minnesota indicate that team officials AND players are unhappy with Harvin after he launched into a disrespectful tirade directed at coach Leslie Frasier. And this isn't the first time such an accusation has been thrown Harvin's way: he was accused of not only berating former Vikings' head coach Brad Childress, but throwing weights at him as well.
Sounds like a lovely fellow.
The talent that Harvin possesses is intoxicating. He's fast, he's quick, and he can turn on a dime. He can split wide, play in the slot, and be effective out of the back field. Some team - the Patriots - will take a chance on him. If the Colts were to acquire him, he'd be their most talented wide receiver by a fair margin. But what impact would his attitude have on a Colts locker room full of young players? Those concerns, combined with the fact that he's going to hold out absent a new contract, have caused me to re-think my Harvin position. I would still try to acquire him if I were the Colts, but the price I'm willing to pay has gone down. The Vikings seem to feel compelled to move him. Perhaps they feel it's addition by subtraction. Whatever the case, I'm not paying them market value to cure their headaches.
4th-round pick and $14-million dollars?! Why not, it's not my money.
What are your thoughts on Harvin? Want him? Or not with a 10-foot pole?
What would it cost the colts for him? I still prefer Mike Wallace. If you put him on that turf, in an indoor stadium with his speed, once he catches it, he is gone to the races. Dwayne Bowe would be my second choice.
@unitas19 Harvin would likely be both cheaper and better than wallace assuming he doesn't cost a first round pick from the vikes. Having seen a lot of percy from his time with the vikings he is much more of an all around weapon than Wallace (who basically has very little to offer beyond being a slightly better version of TY as a deep threat), and can play just about any position and be deadly. If he performs anywhere near the level he was at before he got hurt this year he will be a steal at the numbers being thrown around here. Harvin was getting more MVP consideration than Peterson at the time of his injury (and it was a legitimate conversation; he probably would have finished top 3 assuming continued production on that level while leading Vikes to playoffs). Bowe has a better argument by far than wallace, and if we have the choice between him or percy I'll be happy with either.
If we could get him for a 3rd and 14 mil, I'd say do it in a heartbeat. Sure, it could backfire in a bad way. But Harvin is just a fantastic talent that would add an electric element to the Colts O. I also think there are a couple things the Colts have that Minnesota didn't that should help things work out:
1.) We have a better QB who is a much better leader.
2.) We have Reggie Wayne.
3.) We have better coaching and front office leadership (IMO).
Also, while Harvin....
Ok, just read up some more on Harvin's attitude history, and now I'm not so sure. I don't mind the 3rd round pick for the potential that is Harvin, but that is a lot of cap space to tie up, and his issues seem to stem frequently from a bad mix of anger management and laziness (skipping practices etc...) Now I'm leaning towards no. Amazing what 5 free minutes and the internet can do.
I'd rather see us go after a taller wide receiver, like Dwayne bowe, yes he has had effort and attitude problems but he IS on the worst team on the league, anyone can get a bit discouraged, no excuse, but keep things in perspective. I feel we already have a Harvin-like player on the team in T.Y. Hilton, he proved he can be dangerous in the punt return and he was torching all defenses in just his rookie year, an offseason of training with the great Reggie Wayne and he's gonna be exciting to watch this year. I agree I got excited when I saw Harvin on the block, but I think Hilton could become as good, if not better in the next year or two. We need someone tall to lineup outside for luck to be able to throw it up to, Reggie will be able to mentor them(for example Dwayne bowe) and get their attitude right, and it would make our receiving core that much more complete with speed and size.
@Colts 87 I agree. As talented as Harvin (or M. Wallace) is I think Hilton could turn into something similar. To me of all the free agents Bowe is the only one that has the size and strength to offer us something we don't have. Just think how dangerous Luck would be in the end zone with three big targets (Allen, Fleener, Bowe) who can out muscle DBs or even LB for a jump ball.
@hankster My thoughts exactly, yes we have fleener and Allen(who developed surprisingly quick this year, I'm excited to see him next year) but we need a big man on the outside to compliment them on the inside. Another fun thought, move over Hernandez and gronk, there's a new dynamic tight end duo in town!
I am thinking our first, for their 2nd, 4th and Harvin would work in my eyes, we lose a high pick, but there should be quality guys with tons of value left when their pick comes around in the 2nd, we also add a 4th where we could get another rotation guy, or take a gamble on a questionable player.
Guys, the link up there will take you to an article making the case for getting Harvin. If you don't feel comfortable with the shortened link (it's from Twitter), here is the regular version. http://www.coltsauthority.com/2013-articles/february/should-the-colts-trade-for-percy-harvin.html
No we need a big possession outside receiver like Bowe or Jennings we have all the speed we need! And harvin is always injured.
One thing Colts fans like about Jim Irsay is that he has steered the franchise way from head cases and trouble makers. Jim Irsay has a big heart, but his own issues are not exactly secret Perhaps that is why Irsay feels he has enough idiosyncrasies for the whole team. The Colts have a history of having a coaching and veteran team leadership that has allowed them to bounce back from tough times. Remember 2005 anyone? Given all the drama the Colts faced in 2011 losing Peyton for the season, "THE BLOWUP", then the Pagano's cancer last year I think the franchise is not looking to welcome immature selfish players. Pagano did not beat leukemia to have a knucklehead throw weights at him.
I don't care how good Harvin may be, I say the odds the Colts throw down mad money , 8 to 10 million for 4-5 years to get him are less than zero.
Besides, Harvin is basically the same size as the other Colts receivers, with yes a very good skills.. But there is still plenty of upside to realize with all the WRs, including Avery, that another year working with Luck will materialize.
Last, I thought that one of the benefits, of BLOWING UP the team, ie: the post Peyton/Pollian era, was to take advantage of the new CBA , sign Luck, and the avoid having so much of the payroll concentrated on a few offensive skill players so as to be also able to run a quality 3-4 defense. Would throwing down mega bucks on Harvin be consistent with such goals?
1) Donnie Avery shouldn't be in this discussion. I don't know what some Colts fans see in him, but I don't see it
2) I didn't get the memo that the Colts were blown up to bring balance to the force, but what you're describing isn't balance. There are, what, 3 starters not on rookie contracts? (Wayne, Satele, Justice) I guess 4 with McGlynn? And those (contracts) are all relatively small. Balance is fine, but you're going to have to spend money at some point (none of the WRs are #1s. And I'm TY Hilton's biggest fan)
3) What was wrong with winning a ton of games? lol Some people talk about the Peyton/Polian era as if it was the 2000 Lions.
@GregC 1.) At the start of last year, the question with Avery was did he have anything to offer after being basically out of the game for 2 years. The generally accepted answer was that despite Avery's flaws, he was one of Grigson's more successful and inspired acquisitions. All the Colts receivers had a higher than desired number of drops, including Wayne. Given that prior to training camp, the receiving squad dominated with rookies needed extra time to work out with Luck, therefore all were impacted by Luck's unavailability due to his college graduation commitments. Better results should be expected from all WRs next year. That is not just my argument, but that of Colts media staff as well. By the way none of whom seem very positive on the prospects of Collie being with the team next year. I sincerely hope they are wrong
2). Is the smallish Harvin worth 8-10 million when he is not what the NFL categorizes as the prototypical elite receiver, 6.2 to 6.6 inches, 215 to 245 pounds, 4.3 - 4.4 forty time, in the post CBA era?? What drives the "balance to force" issue? It is the franchise's strategic commitment to the 3-4. I was not one of those fans
calling for Pollian head because his strategy was to build a team to maximize a HoF QB's like Peyton's strengths by supplying him with as many offensive weapons as possible and compromise with a pretty good bang for the buck Tampa-2 zone defense. I am not Brad Wells or, "the smartest guy in the room" Bob Kravitz with his "what good is a defense built to pay with a lead". But the fact is a lot of fans bought into their arguments. Just about every Pollian radio show had a fan calling in and parroting a Wells or Kravitz talking point on the superiority of a 3-4 defense. Last perhaps having a 3-4 defense was always near and dear to Irsay's heart as well.
Conventional wisdom is you can not run a quality 3-4 without first rate NT's and outside cover corners and they do not come cheap. That was Pollian's argument. So, my question, as Pollian's would be, is where do you make compromises now? DId Luck have elite wideouts at Stanford? With Luck's height, mobility to extend plays, field of vision, and intelligence, can he be an elite, HoF QB making due with squad of fast "Killer Bee" receivers instead of having a very expensive fantasy football dreamboat stud receiver with a megabucks salary. Perhaps, bringing in Luck's offensive coordinator from Stanford means that the TE's will be empathized.
Last the single biggest obstacle to the Colts winning their division is the Texan's J.J, Watt. Maybe we should think about shoring up the deficient interior offensive line first, before drooling over a costly stud wideout.
3). Agreed, in spite of Grigson's deservedly recognized rookie success, he is a long long way from coming close to the record of the Pollian era. My point is for fans to be more realistic on the constraints Grigson will now face and compromises he will have to make staffing a 3-4 defense while providing Colts fans with the same crushing passing attack with Luck they grew to love during the Peyton/Pollian era. Let's not do to Grigson what other pundits and fans did to Pollian by not recognizing that what ever strategy or architecture for a team one commits to, compromises will have to be made as long as there is a salary cap.
@Payton Hilton, in my mind, got better as the year went along, too. I'm willing to deal with those inconsistencies from young players. Let him play more and play through them. I think Avery was a fine signing, because it was a cheap 1-year deal. Now it's done. I think it's a mistake to re-up him.
@Payton Every time I've said something negative about Avery, I've been taken to task - in writing, on twitter, and even on air.
I like Donnie Avery. He was an extremely good value for the Colts this year on a production per dollar basis. That said, he is AT BEST the 4th-best WR on the team, and I don't want to see snaps taken away from younger, more skilled players for him.
@GregC As an addendum, I know that TY had the same drop rate as Avery per PFF, but his YPC, YAC value, and total TDs dwarf Avery's production.
I've always held the view that Grigson's FA class was as bad as the rookie class was good.
@GregC Who else is saying that Avery was a generally accepted success? He wasn't the abject failure that McGlynn and Zbikowski were, but he was not a success. No receiver who leads the league in drop rate can be
@GregCI think Harvin is worth 5-7 million which would double his salary. I can't confimed this but a Viking blog indicated that he droped only one pass last year. NFL.com has T.Y at 5'9"? I thought he was taller.
The thing I like about Grigson is it seems he trying to a Super Bowl not regular season games. The first and second priority is protect Andrew Luck. This should be a no brainer.
It is very true. I always say the Colts are a refined, stand-up franchise. No thuggery, and you rarely see a news story about a player getting arrested or doping.
@bandersofarabia @GregCowanCA they have to find a succesor to reggie. I thought our wr were horrible last year getting open
@Payton the thing is, he never really missed games because of them, and that issue mysteriously disappeared once Brad Childress was fired.
My issue is; I think he is probably similar to what we want T.Y. Hilton. After an impressive rookie year, I'd rather let him to develop than spend more draft picks on a similar player with a ton of baggage.
@OllyDawes I agree, but if the price was discounted enough, I'd still be willing to take the risk. I'm a risk taker. I take risks. I'm like Bruce Arians on 4th-and-1 from the opponents 40.
Harvin is taller, bigger, stronger, more physical than Hilton, he also knows how to get open quick, something I did not see from TY a bunch.
I am not sure how comfortable I am with TY catching a bunch of balls across the middle, in Harvin's case I don't really worry much.
I think they are two different types of WR's and I would be up for a trade at the right price.
@paulcareyjr @Kyle Rodriguez @OllyDawes Yea, this is where I'm at, as well. I feel like Harvin, despite being 5'11", is a true #1, or has that ceiling. Hilton is more of a #2/#3 tweener who is going to be a key piece in either hitting a ton of big plays or causing the defense to stretch vertically to stop him, opening up the underneath stuff.
@7IHd @Kyle Rodriguez @OllyDawes I really have no hope in Collie making it through a season, Harvin can be a red zone threat because of his physicality, and I think we have a decent amount of RZ threats if Fleener can get it together, and if the guy we just singed to a future contract plays up to potential, don't forget Wayne in the back corner is always nice.
@Kyle Rodriguez @OllyDawes not sure what happened with Harvin's weight on these sites, but coming out of college he was 192 and got up to 200. I just looked up a article that said this past offseason Harvin lost some weight and got back down to that 190 range at the beginning of the season.
Harvin is bigger, physique wise and has a tone of more muscle than Hilton, and it is not just that but the way that he plays the game is physical, and that is very much different than Hilton, he can elevate to catch passes, run over defenders.
There are some similarities like you said far as designing plays for and having them go deep, but there are a decent amount of differences as well as that I think separate what kinds of receivers the are and what they can offer to a team.
@paulcareyjr @OllyDawes They're about the same weight, Harvin has an inch or two on him though (although he doesn't look it on film). I don't have any more qualms about Hilton's durability than I do Harvin's. Neither are great route runners, but you don't need them to be. Both are players you design plays around to get them the ball in this offense, or just let them go deep.
@Kyle Rodriguez @OllyDawes Agree completely. Also, Harvin's migraine issues and some locker-room behavior might be too much for the Colts (for example, see - http://goo.gl/AFhFc), especially when, in the alternative, they could spend $$ on talented players & veteran leadership. That being said, Harvin IS extremely talented, def would open up a lot of things on offense. I just can't get past his other issues...
@silentkman @Kyle Rodriguez @OllyDawes TY Hilton is a pretty good return-man, as is, and much less expensive. Personally, I have never thought it wise to spend too much money on a special teams return man. But your last comment is pretty insightful; i do wonder what kinda numbers he will be able to put up since he never really had the privilege of being targeted by a solid QB...