Without knowing exactly what is going on in Percy Harvin's head, the conclusion must be that he has lost his mind. That can be the only explanation. On Friday, according to a report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, general manager Rick Spielman indicated that the Minnesota Vikings have no intent of trading Harvin. In the article he is quoted:
Percy Harvin is under contract, and we expect him, just like all of our players under contract, to be here...
After all the fuss that has been made this past week about Harvin's demand for a trade and his threat to holdout, perhaps Spielman is just as crazy.
Let's analyze Harvin first.
In a CBSSports.com story by Jason La Canfora, Harvin is misunderstood. His frustrations are not with his contract, but with the Vikings passing game.
Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora
To be clear, Percy Harvin's trade request based on frustration in passing game, not contract. never threatened holdout: http://t.co/gHfLV4Zc2/15/2013, 4:18:31 PM
How can a player that was leading the NFL early in the season in receptions have a problem with the Vikings passing game? Harvin was having the best season of his career. Not only was he among the top receivers in the NFL, but he was also leading the league in all-purpose yards. His name was being mentioned as one of the early MVP candidates.
An indication from a receiver that they have a problem with the offense means that they're not getting the ball enough. That certainly was not the case last season when, despite missing seven games, Harvin still led the Vikings in receptions and receiving yards with 62 catches for 677 yards. That would indicate Harvin feels the Vikings must be running the ball too much. The natural conclusion then leads to the an assumption that Harvin cannot handle the success that Adrian Peterson had last season.
Peterson was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player and the Offensive Player of the Year by the AP. He finished the season with 2,097 yards, falling only nine yards short of setting the single-season record currently held by Eric Dickerson.
Peterson, the class act that he is, wants the Vikings to keep Harvin. He understands what Harvin brings to the team. Last October he referred to himself and Harvin as the two best players in the league, referring to them both as Michael Jordan.
Peterson wants the dynamic duo to stay together, but for Harvin it appears he needs to be the lone superhero of the team by demanding a trade and threatening to hold out.
Perhaps it's just frustration of having his best season cut short and the fact that Peterson was named the MVP.
Now, let's look at Spielman.
As is typically the case, general managers are never going to tell you what they're thinking. They are better at keeping their cards to themselves than the players of the World Series of Poker with their sunglasses and hooded sweatshirts hiding the features of their faces.
The last thing Spielman is going to say is that the Vikings are looking to move Harvin—that would be crazy. With the rookie wage scale making it so much easier to sign first-round draft picks, there is no way any team would surrender a first-round pick for Harvin. That means the best the Vikings might be able to get in return for Harvin is a second-round pick.
Trading Harvin for a second-round pick is almost as crazy. The best explanation is that at least the Vikings get something for him, and it would be better than having Harvin sit out and then sign with another team the following season as a free agent.
When the Vikings got tired of Randy Moss' antics they traded him to the Oakland Raiders before the 2005 season. It could be argued that the two seasons with the Raiders were the worst of his career (ignoring the 2010 season when he played for three teams). What if the Vikings were to trade Harvin to Kansas City, Arizona or the Jets—exiling him to a team with quarterback woes worse than that in Minnesota?
That would be crazy.