Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Is he worth the risk?
There's a report out that the Vikings are willing to strip Christian Ponder of his biggest weapon not named Adrian Peterson and/or his mental health by trading Percy Harvin. Is he worth the long term contract and giving up the draft choices? There are compelling arguments to both sides that could be made.
- A dynamic weapon: Harvin is a dynamic player in the mold of a poor man's Devin Hester with better hands. He can be used in a variety of roles such as running tosses and reverses like the Falcons used with Julio Jones on occasion. He's also a kick return ace that would provide insurance for Marc Mariani should he not return to full health and shore up Darius Reynaud's often questionable decision making (I lost count how many times he's taken it out of the end zone only to end up very short of the 20.)
- A proven receiver: He has proven capable to produce results even with subpar QB play when healthy. The 2009 fountain of youth finder Brett Favre was Harvin's rookie year and he produced 60 catches for 790 yards and six TDs. In 2011, Harvin increased his numbers to the tune of 87 catches for 967 yards and another six touchdowns despite a clearly over the hill veteran in Donovan McNabb and then rookie Ponder. Despite his small size, he's a deep speed threat that blow the top off a defense and can make the tough catch.
- The injury history: It's a major concern as he's missed parts of every year of his career due to various ailments. The biggest one being his migraine problem, while handled for now, can reoccur at any given time for a variety of reasons.
- Attitude/off field concerns: While Harvin isn't Titus Young's (alleged) level of immaturity and deliberate miscreant, he has had a checkered past in Minnesota. He's pulled a Vince Young locker room storming move twice in his young career (once for Brad Childress and once for Leslie Frazier). The trouble began during his college days at Florida under Urban Meyer's laissez faire regime and never really stopped.
No, I wouldn't trade for him. Despite his great talent (which I like), he's a mercurial head case and that's the last thing this team needs right now with Kenny Britt's ongoing off the field problems. I couldn't stomach the thought that he would require valuable draft picks on a team full of holes such as the Titans along with a hefty contract extension with his litany of character and injury concerns. Maybe for a veteran team such as the Patriots that can sit Harvin down and tell him it's the Patriot way or else, this move can be justified but for the young and impressionable Titans, it cannot happen.