Trade suitors for Percy Harvin

Patriots among teams that should pursue Vikings' dynamic receiver

Originally Published: February 11, 2013
By Sam Monson | ESPN Insider

Percy HarvinBruce Kluckhohn/US PRESSWIREPercy Harvin is one of the NFL's most dynamic receiving threats.

History can have a funny way of repeating itself. Back in the 2005 offseason, the Vikings finally had enough of superstar receiver Randy Moss and shipped him to Oakland in a trade that ultimately benefited neither side. This offseason, it seems that Minnesota might be heading in the same direction with Percy Harvin, as rumors have surfaced that the Vikings may try to trade their Swiss army knife on offense.

Harvin might be the most explosive player in football with the ball in his hands. He missed the last seven weeks of the season because of injury, but the incredible finish to the season from Adrian Peterson has left many forgetting already that it was Harvin, not Peterson, who was garnering talk of MVP over the first half of the season. At that time, everything that Minnesota did on offense flowed through the versatile receiver.

Despite missing the final seven games of the season, Harvin led the league in missed tackles forced by a non-running back with 22. That is five more than the next-best receiver, Brandon Marshall, who had 56 additional receptions on which to make people miss. That statistic also doesn't count the five additional misses Harvin forced when running the football lined up in the backfield or the damage he did as a return man.

As a return man, Harvin was a devastating weapon, scoring a touchdown and averaging more than 35 yards each time he ran it back. As a receiver, only Philadelphia's Jason Avant, who didn't drop a ball all season, had a better drop rate. In 81 targets through nine games, Harvin dropped just one pass, or 1.59 percent of the catchable balls thrown his way. Compared to other high-volume underneath targets like Wes Welker (11.28 percent), Davone Bess (11.59 percent), Dexter McCluster (11.86 percent) or Victor Cruz (12.24 percent), Harvin was a far more reliable target.

But just like Moss all those years ago, Harvin comes with baggage, and you have to buy into more than just his obvious talent and playmaking ability. Tensions between him and the Vikings have brewed for a while, and with his contract expiring after the 2013 season, a trade market may be emerging.

Even if Harvin brings more than just mercurial talent, a queue of teams should try to make a trade, so let's look at a few of the likeliest suitors:

New England Patriots