Sources: Percy Harvin's lack of confidence in Christian Ponder was final straw for Vikings
Percy Harvin wanted two things this offseason: money and a better quarterback.
On Monday, Harvin got closer to both when the Minnesota Vikings reportedly dealt him to the Seattle Seahawks for three draft picks. According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the Vikings get a first- and seventh-round pick this year, and a mid-round pick in 2014 for Harvin.
That's a nice haul for a unique player with both wide receiver and running back skills. The problem for Minnesota, though, was that it found Harvin to also illustrate a uniquely disruptive attitude.
According to two sources, the straw that broke the Vikings' back with Harvin is when he bemoaned the fact that quarterback Christian Ponder, a 2011 first-round pick, was not good enough. That came even though Ponder consistently fed Harvin the ball.
Last season, Harvin had team highs of 62 catches for 677 yards, and added three touchdowns before suffering a season-ending injury in the Vikings' ninth game.
Now, Harvin goes to Seattle, which has wunderkind quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson not only pushed Robert Griffin III for Rookie of the Year this season, but also happens to have a lot in common with Harvin. Both are 24 and grew up in the eastern part of Virginia: Harvin from Virginia Beach and Wilson from Richmond.
In other words, they have known of each other for a long time and there's enough respect between the two that Harvin likely won't create more trouble. Wilson is probably one of the few people who can keep Harvin in line.
In trading for Harvin, Seattle is taking on a guy who is loaded with issues. Harvin was difficult to deal with in college, reportedly failed a drug test at the NFL scouting combine in 2009 and threatened to walk out on the Vikings last offseason in displeasure over his contract.
Then there are the reports that he got into a minor altercation with Vikings coach Leslie Frazier last season when Minnesota put him on injured reserve in December. Frazier is one of the classiest, nicest men in football, just about the last coach you could imagine getting into a fight with a player.
Throw on top of that his complaints about Ponder and you have a guy who is as much misanthrope as mismatch. Harvin is a great player once you get to Sunday. It's the rest of the week that he is hard to manage.
With most human beings, rewarding that kind of behavior with more money only makes the behavior worse, not better. That means that Wilson and Seattle coach Pete Carroll, one of the most unceasingly positive people in the NFL, must find a way to keep Harvin in line even they though have little authority over him based on the contract he just negotiated.
The exact amount of that contract is unknown as of the moment, but Harvin was seeking a deal just south of Calvin Johnson (eight years, $132 million) and Larry Fitzgerald (eight years, $120 million). Whether Harvin got to $14 million or only $10 million, the point is that he's essentially a lot richer today than he was yesterday.
And as the saying goes, mo' money, mo' problems.
At least that's the potential with Harvin. At the same time, he can be flat-out dominant when put next to a quarterback like Wilson. In college, Harvin teamed with Tim Tebow to win a BCS title during the 2008 season. Harvin lined up everywhere that season, but was particularly effective when lined up in the backfield next to Tebow, where defenses had to pick their poison of who to stop.
Harvin makes the receiving corps of Sidney Rice and Golden Tate more respectable. He also takes stress off running back Marshawn Lynch because defenses won't be able to load up on the run. Wilson's ability to run the read-option just got even better.
But it all comes with a concern.
What is Harvin going to want next?