Long-term contract details may determine Harvin’s Vikings fate

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Florio reported in June that disgruntled-then-not Vikings receiver Percy Harvin would view the 2012 season as his contract year, before targeting a new deal in 2013. Harvin’s mindset is that the upcoming season will be his last in Minnesota if his long-term contract demands are not met.

As Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities explains, however, the Vikings may balk at committing big money to a player about whom they have lingering concerns. Harvin has missed a lot of practice time over the course of his first three seasons. He has excelled as a slot receiver, but struggled when asked to play outside. Per Pelissero, Harvin has a “reputation within the building for being emotional and unpredictable.”

And Harvin’s unforeseen late-June trade request did nothing to calm the team’s fears.

NFL teams have been perhaps too willing, in recent years, to give temperamental wide receivers lucrative long-term contracts. Pelissero reports that people within the league were “stunned” when the Jets handed Santonio Holmes $7.25 million up front and $24 million guaranteed last July.

This offseason, the Eagles gave DeSean Jackson a five-year, $47 million contract with a $10 million signing bonus after his worst NFL season.

New Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson signed for in excess of $55 million over five seasons, a whopping $26 million of which is guaranteed. Jackson is more than five years older than Harvin, and has a more troubling off-the-field history.

One NFL executive told Pelissero that, had Harvin’s now-rescinded trade demand been granted, the Vikings likely would have received offers of only a second-day pick. And finding common ground on a long-term deal following the season is not going to be easy, because the Vikings will want an “out,” protecting themselves in case something goes wrong.

“That’s what I think it comes down to,” said the executive, “that if this guy does get a payday, contractual structure, protecting the downside of the club, the character risk involved — all those things may come into effect.

“The money may sound good on a whole on the front page of the paper, but the minutiae how of the contract gets laid out for the player to get all the money involved, I think that’d be important with a player like Percy Harvin.”

11 responses to “Long-term contract details may determine Harvin’s Vikings fate

  1. I have watched about every game Percy played in college. He is unbelievably explosive, strong/fast, smooth. But tick……..tick…….tick.

    I would in no way, ever, ever, give him that kind of guaranteed money. Because today it is fine, but tomorrow, there will be a problem.

    What a player to have but…………………….

  2. V-Jax’s off-the-field issues are also much further behind him, and reports in Tampa state he’s been nothing but a leader and workout warrior so far this offseason. Comparing that to a young, semi-unproven wideout who asked to be traded just weeks ago doesn’t seem accurate.

  3. I would love the Vikes to retain Harvin, he truly electric and a definite game breaker. He does not however deserve elite WR money. Pay him 7 or 8 million a year, if he’s not happy with that, take the 1st round tender and move on.

  4. If the Vikings organization is serious about fielding a winning team, they need to step up and pay Harvin.

    Harvin was the team’s offensive MVP last season, and he’s a threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball. Players like that don’t become available very often, and losing Harvin isn’t going to help the team’s image with fans, especially potential ticket buyers.

  5. What off field issues has DeSean Jackson had? The only thing you could bring up is a sub par year (He later admitted the chance of getting hurt was always in his head, and effected his play. But hey, he is by far the biggest big play threat in the league, and was playing for 800k), but he hasn’t had any issues at all off field. If anything, he has been a class act off field, with all his charity and community work.

    On the field speaks for itself. Show me anyone else even close to as many 50 yd plays since he’s been in the league? Change that from plays to TD’s, and it gets even more ridiculous

  6. go to the University of Florida. Ask people about Percy Harvin. They’ll tell you stories about this guys behavior. and i’m not talking about teammates. I’m talking about people who were around this guy on a fri or sat night. this dude developed quite the rep down there for being wild.

    but he is probably the best athlete in the NFL. He can do everything: receiver. running back. kick return. punt return. he could play corner or safety because he is so tough.

  7. DeSean Jackson has on the field issues. How many times do you have to miss a T-D because of a lame celebration before you stop doing it and show some humility?!?!

    Harvin is a class above in many respects.

  8. Really talented guy! I think the Vikes have to hang on to him as health issues/attitude rumors have dropped value for trade. He’s definitely a killer but if he’s half speed with the Vikings he’ll just hurt himself for future value next year.

  9. Narcissism catches up with players like this, and by the time it does, it’s too late. You know who I mean…it’s a long list.

    Combine that with Peterson’s knee and Ponder’s second-string abilities, and you have a pretty mediocre season waiting in the wings.

    It’s best to face that reality now and get something for this guy while you can.

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