Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE
Could the Buccaneers be interested in Percy Harvin, for the right price?
Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin is on the trade block. That, at least, is what CBS Minnesota's Mike Max says after what he called an "embarrassing tirade" on Harvin's part, which seems like it was the final straw in a troubled tenure in Minnesota. Harvin has been spectacular when on the field, one of the few undersized receivers who can consistently produce when split out wide. But he has had multiple run-ins with coaches and has struggled to stay on the field due to migraines and other injuries.
So the question on a lot of Bucs fans' minds is: will the Buccaneers make a run at Harvin? It makes sense from one perspective. The Buccaneers struggled to find production from a third receiver, with Dallas Clark and Tiquan Underwood functioning as third receivers but neither really producing steadily. Plus, the Bucs had incredible difficulty finding productive kick- and punt-returners, and Harvin would fill a big hole there as well.
NFL Philosophy, a former NFL operations manager who has been dishing out some great knowledge on Twitter, would love to see that happen.
MT @stevebateman99: Talk in Minnesota says Harvin can leave for a 2nd and 4th round pick >>TB has an extra 4th from Talib trade. Just sayin'— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) February 11, 2013
Add Harvin to VJax, Mike Williams, and Muscle Hamster. Add an athletic TE. Yowza that's a potent offense.— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) February 11, 2013
I just can't see it, though. Too many issues stand in the way of Harvin moving to Tampa. For one, there's the cost. Harvin is in the last year of his contract at a pretty doable $2.9 million, but trading for him without giving him a long-term contract would not make much sense. Given recent trades for troubled but productive receivers such as Brandon Marshall and Santonio Holmes, he'd probably cost somewhere between a second- and fourth-round pick.
The long-term contract may be a bigger obstacle. The Bucs currently have $50 million in salary cap space locked up on offense, with an equal amount locked up on defense for the 2013 season. But that still includes contracts for Quincy Black and Eric Wright, two defenders who are likely to leave the team this offseason. Giving Harvin a premium contract, along with the contract the Bucs are contemplating for Mike Williams, would make the team's commitment to the offense dominate their financial commitment to defense -- and consequently limit what they can do to bolster a very weak secondary, by far their biggest need. Not to mention that giving three receivers premium contracts sounds like a bad idea anyway, given the limited number of passes each player can receive.
All of that can be worked around, however. One thing that can't be pushed aside, though, is whether Percy Harvin is what Greg Schiano would call a "Buccaneer man". Schiano's authoritarian style can only work when he has players that buy in, and Harvin has a history of fighting with his coaches. He's gone off-script with the Vikings repeatedly, at times leaving for extended periods to practice on his own. That's not a problem for every team, but it would be an issue for the Buccaneers, who demand complete commitment to the Buccaneer way. Combine that with the cost of doing business, and I simply cannot see Harvin coming to Tampa -- even though he would be a terrific addition.