Le sigh... - Hannah Foslien
Earlier today the Vikings traded Percy Harvin to Seattle for multiple draft picks. All things considered, the Vikings got about the best deal possible.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I'm happy about Percy Harvin being traded to Seattle. Harvin was Minnesota's most electric player with the ball in his hands, and saying this is a good deal for the Vikings would be trying to blow sunshine up everyone's skirt.
But if a trade was inevitable, GM Rick Spielman got about the best deal possible. When you consider recent trades for top flight wide receiver like Anquan Boldin and Brandon Marshall only netted mid-round picks, getting a first rounder and seventh rounder this year and a mid rounder next year (still TBD based on Harvin's performance in Seattle) is about the best deal he could get.
When you add in the well known news of the bad blood that existed between Harvin and the team, it makes the trade even more impressive. So now the Vikings have two first round picks, and a total of eleven picks in this year's draft: two first rounders, 1 each in the second and third, two in the fourth, one in the 5th and 6th rounds, and three in the seventh.
With free agency just underway, the Vikes have plenty of options to address the WR position, which is now priority number 1 with this move, and this move has to be an opening salvo to do just that. The trade also cleared another $2.8 million in cap space, giving the Vikings plenty of room to maneuver and go after a top flight free agent if they want to.
Or, the extra draft pick has some people on Twitter surmising that the team could target restricted free agent Victor Cruz of the Giants. Cruz has been tendered as a 1st round restricted free agent, meaning if the Vikings went after him, the Giants would have an option to match the contract the Vikings offered. If they declined to match it, the Giants would receive the Vikings original first round draft pick, the 23rd selection overall.
Is Victor Cruz worth a first round draft pick?
This also puts a much bigger focus on WR Jarius Wright. When he was drafted, there was a lot of fans that thought he was just a poor man's version of Percy Harvin--a little bit smaller, a little bit slower, but ideally a slot receiver. We were kind of scratching our heads about the move, but now, in retrospect, it all makes sense. Wright, who impressed last year in seven games, will now move into the role of primary slot guy.
The Vikings will also need to figure out who will be their primary kickoff returner as well. He is the best kick returner in the game, and I would argue that's the area where he will be very sorely missed.
No, this isn't a good day, and Harvin will be missed. But the Vikings did go 5-2 without him last year, and with 11 draft picks and a full free agency period ahead of them, the Vikings have a golden opportunity to mitigate the long term effects of losing Harvin.