How Much Is Percy Harvin Really Worth?

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IFebruary 11, 2013

Percy Harvin's talent and production cannot be questioned, but certainly, the same cannot be said about his trade value.

According to the sources of WCCO's Mike Max (via CBS Minnesota) in Minneapolis, the Vikings "will try to trade Harvin, as he does have trade value."

But how much trade value?

What will teams be willing to provide as compensation for Harvin?

Let's explore.


By The Numbers 

The 24-year-old wideout has averaged 5.18 catches and a shade over 61 receiving yards per game in his four-year NFL career.

For reference, 2009 draft-mate Michael Crabtree has averaged 4.48 receptions and 57.67 yards per outing and Jeremy Maclin, another 2009 first-round selection, has averaged 4.37 receptions and 58.5 yards per contest in his four-year career. 

Darrius Heyward-Bey has averaged 2.5 receptions and 36.9 receiving yards with the Oakland Raiders to begin his career.

Yes, Harvin, Crabtree, Maclin and Heyward-Bey are all slightly different types of receivers with different skill sets who play in different systems. 

But no, the way Harvin has outperformed the three receivers taken before him in the 2009 draft likely will not play into trade negotiations—the feat is simply worth noting. 

The University of Florida YAC marvel is a productive pass-catcher, a guy with incredible short-area burst, open-field wiggle, block-following vision, strong hands and desired straight-line speed. (subscription required) ranked Harvin as the 10th-most effective wideout in 2012, and he caught 76.5 percent of the passes thrown his way, good for third in the NFL—much of that has to do with the way Harvin is used in the short-to-intermediate passing game.

Beyond his stellar catch percentage, Harvin makes the most of his receptions. 

He led the league with 8.7 YAC per reception this season.

That's important. 

His YAC per reception has increased in each of his four seasons, and the 8.7 YAC-per-reception figure is the highest since the New York Giants' Hakeem Nicks finished the 2009 campaign with an insane 9.0 YAC per reception (wideouts with 20 or more grabs).

Clearly, Harvin is entering the prime of his career, a prime that would likely place him into the elite receiving category despite his non-traditional role. 

Wes Welker made the small and quick YAC slot receiver a valuable commodity in the NFL, and Harvin has shown he can be a faster, more athletic version of Welker based on his upward trending numbers and age. 



Recently, injuries have plagued Harvin. 

They'll probably scare away a few initial suitors, but ProFootballFocus' Sam Monson laid out the truth behind Harvin's perceived medical red flags:

@cmccollo Are the medical red flags really that bad? Missed 10 of 64 games in his career, and 7 were this year with an ankle ligament tear

— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) February 11, 2013

Interesting, right?

Harvin missed the last seven games of the 2012 regular season with that ligament tear; however, this tweet from Tom Pelissero of ESPN Twin Cities confirmed that Harvin is fully healthy: 

Frazier confirms Percy Harvin had exit physical: "It went well. He’s fine. He’s cleared. All the medical was good." #Vikings

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 5, 2013

But the ankle injury isn't the only ailment that could concern teams interested in trading for Harvin. 

He has dealt with rather debilitating migraines since childhood, and although they often threatened to force him to miss a game, they never did. 

Alex Dunlap of Bleacher Report and the Austin Chronicle reminded everyone of Harvin's current migraine situation: 

@cmccollo you don't still mean the headaches do you? Cured by sleep apnea treatment. Sleeps w/ a C-Pap now. No migraines since.

— Alex Dunlap (@AlexDunlapNFL) February 11, 2013

That's a vital piece of information for teams looking to invest significant dollars and draft picks for the slot receiver. Sure, the migraines could resurface, but the fact that Harvin apparently has them under control is an encouraging development. 


Locker Room Issues

Harvin's 2012 season was frustrating to say the least. From the aforementioned Mike Max report:

Harvin had an embarrassing tirade directed toward Frasier, disrespecting the coach during the season when Harvin was sidelined with an injured ankle.

Teammates were present, and Max was told that is when Harvin left the team and was put on injured reserve.

In June of 2012, the Associated Press reported that Harvin wanted out of Minnesota: 

APNewsBreak: Percy Harvin has requested a trade from the #Vikings.

— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) June 20, 2012

Teams will look at his "locker room issues" with varying degrees of concern, but there is no doubting that Harvin has some wide receiver "diva" in him. 


Other Receiver Trades

After haplessly wandering in Oakland with the Raiders, Randy Moss was traded to the New England Patriots for a fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft.

Santonio Holmes was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the New York Jets for a fifth-round pick in the 2010 draft. 

Both Holmes and Moss were more accomplished than Harvin at the the time of their respective trades, but Harvin's youth and specialized skill set make him more attractive from an on-field standpoint. 



Let's take everything into consideration when determining Harvin's worth—his age, skill set, potential, injury past, how the discontent he showed in Minnesota projects into the future, the type of money he desires, and what comparable receivers have fetched in trades over the last few years—to come to the correct conclusion.

Verdict: Harvin is worth a second- or third-round pick and could sign a four- to five-year deal for around $10 million per year and upward of $25 million guaranteed.


Possible landing spots

Miami Dolphins 

The Dolphins should be major players in the Harvin sweepstakes for a few reasons. According to ESPN's John Clayton, they have a considerable amount of cap room, although that number is relatively fluid.

They have two second-round selections and two third-round selections in the 2013 draft, so the pick ammunition is undoubtedly there. 

Miami may be looking for a traditional No. 1 receiver for Ryan Tannehill, a big wideout who can line up on the perimeter and beat the opposition's best cornerback, but Harvin's versatility would help the entire Dolphins offense's explosiveness. 

He and Lamar Miller would be a scary tandem. 


Cleveland Browns

The Browns have a new, offensive-minded head coach in Rob Chudzinski, a guy who has been extremely successful with Derek Anderson and Cam Newton in the past. 

The offense will likely be built around running back Trent Richardson, but giving Brandon Weeden another weapon certainly wouldn't be a bad idea. 

Josh Gordon has the physical makeup of a true No. 1 wideout, and Harvin would be the ideal complement. 

According to Clayton's findings, the Browns have a ridiculous amount of money to spend, but they do not have a second-round pick. 


Jacksonville Jaguars

Harvin may wish to go to a contender, but if the money is right, that could change things. Justin Blackmon came on strong in the second half of his rookie season, and the team has a good amount of money to spend. 

Shad Khan is seemingly an aggressive owner who would be willing to pay Harvin the money he wants. 



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