As we sit in the midst of the NFL offseason, the season of rumor-mill is in full-effect. The recent buzz around DC is talk about the possibilities of DC trading for a superstar like Percy Harvin and adding him to our already dynamic offense.
As the Harvin talk in DC percolates, we reached out to the team that knows him much better than we do. Chris Gates from SB Nation’s Daily Norseman, who cover the Minnesota Vikings was nice enough to sit down for a brief interview to share his thoughts on Percy Harvin, off-the-field issues, how he’d fit in with the Redskins and more.
BHR: What are you currently hearing regards to Harvin’s time in Minnesota. Is he 100% not coming back?
DN: As far as Harvin not coming back, I don’t think anything is 100% certain yet. The Vikings have a significant amount of leverage at this point, as Harvin still has a year remaining on his contract and the prospect of the franchise tag is there as well. The Vikings don’t have to trade Percy Harvin. Now, if it turns out that he’s going to be a pain in the tail about this whole thing, that could make things a bit different. But the Vikings have shown throughout recent years that they have no problem paying players what they feel they’re worth if they shut up and play football. They did it with Adrian Peterson, they did it with John Sullivan, and they’ll do it with Percy Harvin if he shows up at camp and continues to provide what he does to the team.
BHR: How sad will you & Minnesota fans be to see him leave?
DN: I don’t think anyone wants to see Percy Harvin leave Minnesota. Obviously, there will be a lot of people that will be angry if he ends up getting traded, much like there were when Randy Moss got dealt to the Oakland Raiders before the 2005 season. Harvin has been a dynamic player during his time in Minnesota, has provided plenty of highlight-reel footage, and has shown a level of versatility that is unmatched in the National Football League. I hope that Harvin and the team can work something out, and I personally will probably be disappointed for a short time if they don’t. Ultimately, though, I think fans would have an easier time moving on from Percy Harvin than they did from Randy Moss all those years ago, if we can compare the two.
BHR: If you all were to sign him for a long-term, 4-5 year deal what would concern you the most about that deal? His injury history? His mental make-up?
DN: Prior to this past season, I would have said the injury thing, but now his mental make-up worries me significantly more. He had an incident this past off-season where he didn’t show up at mini-camp for one day, and then reappeared the next day saying that nothing was wrong. Strange, to say the least. He’s had a bit of a history of problems with authority dating back to his high school days in Virginia, and he’s now had issues with two different coaches with the Minnesota Vikings. There are even rumors that during an argument with former coach Brad Childress, Harvin picked up a 10-pound weight and threw it at him. (I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen that story verified, but it’s out there.) Not being able to get along with Brad Childress is one thing. . .nobody else seemed to be able to, either. But from everything I’ve read, if you can’t get along with Leslie Frazier, you pretty much can’t get along with anybody. The fact that Harvin appears to have issues with Frazier is worrisome to me, particularly in light of the fact that I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard another Vikings’ player say anything bad about the man.
BHR: Do you feel the “juice is worth the squeeze” with Harvin when you think about his injuries, migraines, sometimes difficult personality?
DN: Again, there isn’t a player in the National Football League that can do what Percy Harvin is capable of doing, in my opinion. He can line up out wide, he can line up in the slot, he lines up in the backfield on occasion, he returns kicks, and he’s an absolute threat every time the football is in his hands. For a player like that, it would take a lot of potential issues to outweight what he brings on the field. I can understand not wanting to deal with a potential “diva” at the wide receiver position, there’s also the danger of cutting off your nose to spite your face in this matter. Unless Harvin has become such a cancer that he absolutely can not be a member of the Minnesota Vikings any more, I think it would be in the Vikings’ interest to keep him, because they certainly aren’t going to find anyone to replace him.
BHR: Knowing his skill set and seeing what DC did last year with RG3 and reinventing the wheel with the Pistol offense, how would you see his skill-set fitting into our offense?
DN: Harvin would be an interesting option for the Redskins, as he could play a couple of different spots in that Pistol offense. A combination of Harvin and RGIII in the same backfield would have the potential to give an offense fits, too. I would have a hard time coming up with an offense that Harvin wouldn’t be a great addition to. Honestly, if a player like Percy Harvin doesn’t “fit your system,” then your system is probably pretty awful.