There have been recent reports that the San Francisco 49ers have expressed interest in trading for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin. Harvin for his part has recently taken to the media to express his desire to move on to another team. While that may seem like a very nice fit into the 49ers chemistry, there are some underlying issues that should be considered before pulling the trigger on such a trade.
First of all, Harvin is in the fourth year of a five year 12 million dollar contract, with an average salary of about 2.4 million. While that seems like somewhat of a bargain, as opposed to other top wide receiver contracts in the league. It still has yet to be determined if Harvin is at or near the top of the class in the wide out category. Even on the 49ers roster alone, would he be the number one or number two receiver on the team?
Harvin, in his time in Minnesota has never once gone over the 1,000 yards marker in receiving yards. He is coming off a debilitating ankle injury that shortened his 2012 campaign to just nine games. He has the reputation around the league of someone that clashes with coaches when not involved in the offense to his standards. His completion to target ratio is not all that great, averaging 32 incomplete passes per season. Though there are many factors that play into that, quarterback error, route running, hands, coverage, etc. And his yards per catch have continually dropped each and every year he has been in the league.
From the 49ers standpoint, it appears that he would come in as the number two receiver behind Michael Crabtree. He would best Harvin in nearly every statistical category, receiving yards, yards per catch, touchdowns, targets, etc. Crabtree even boasts a bigger contract than Harvin. Point is why would the 49ers bring in a number two wide out to the tune of probably near three million a year? They would be better, and would save a ton of money to test the free agent market for a cheaper receiver that would essentially put up the same numbers.
On top of that, he’s labeled as a head case, why would the 49ers bring in another difficult wide out? They let go of Braylon Edwards for just that reason. And not to mention, the 49ers have Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams still to consider. Would it benefit the 49ers to move Harvin ahead of those two guys in the depth chart if they return healthy? Probably not, Manningham and Williams are not scheduled for free agency until 2014. And Manningham makes more than Harvin right now, so it would really be adding a lot of money to the payroll for a third option wide receiver.
So he would not be coming in as the first option, he would be relegated to the second or even third option wide out. If the 49ers want options they are out there, and the price can be right for a first, second, or third option receiver. It just depends on what they want, and how much they are willing to give up. Harvin however, should not be considered as one of them.
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