Yesterday we did some wild speculating, which I guess didn’t make Monday much different than any other day. Our target was Percy Harvin, because there’s a strong possibility he could be traded by Minnesota this offseason, even though admittedly the odds of that possibility becoming reality seem low primarily due to the likely asking price. That’s never stopped us before, though, so the dreaming of big dreams began as we wondered what the best potential Harvin destinations would be for fantasy purposes (Harvin and A.J. Green together? Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy).
But ever so slowly the hints of a Harvin departure are piling up, so maybe — just maybe — one of those fantasy dreams will come true.
Step up, Christian Ponder, and tell us how confident you are in the return of your top receiver next season:
“I’m not sure, I don’t know. We’ll see. I mean, we’ll see how everything shakes out. I’m not sure what [GM] Rick Spielman’s gonna be doing. Obviously, it’d be nice to have [Harvin]. He’s a heck of a player.”
Well, that sounds encouraging. When Ponder continued, he spoke in the past tense
“You know, he busts his butt all the time when he was here. When he was out on the field, no one worked harder than him. Obviously, everyone saw how tough he was physically and mentally. And he had a lot of leadership qualities. He was a good teammate.”
The words are Ponder’s, and the bolding is mine, because he doesn’t control my keyboard. The rest of his second comment could be tossed aside as a slip, but that last part — the bolded part — is just odd. Harvin isn’t a free agent, as he’s still under contract next year and due to be paid $1.55 million, the final year of his rookie deal. Yet Ponder is sort of speaking about his departure as if it’s a forgone conclusion.
If it’s determined Harvin’s ability to be an asshole outweighs the abilities he’s shown on the football field, then that conclusion will indeed become a reality, as the Vikings’ desire to negotiate an extension will be minimal. Then Harvin will need to be shopped during the draft season, unless there are plans to use a franchise tag on him a year from now, and the tag for receivers will be likely be somewhere in the neighborhood of a hefty $10 million. We’ve seen this story so many times before with wide receivers, a position where character flaws are quickly identified when selfish wideouts begin demanding the ball, and complaining about their role in an offense. From Keyshawn Johnson to Terrell Owens to Chad Ochocinco/Johnson, it’s a crappy movie.
But again, as we wrote yesterday, us fantasy folk say bring the change. Just bring it. If Harvin can average 75.2 receiving yards per game — including three +100 yard games — over just nine weeks this year with the still developing and struggling Ponder throwing him the ball, just a moderate improvement in quarterback play and someone on the other side of the field to draw attention will lead to even better returns.