July 25, 2017

Shipley + Pick = Harvin?

The Bengals’ need for a #2 WR is well known. While there are a number of candidates for the job, some of whom may turn out to be legitimate options, a proven threat would comfort and excite fans even more for the upcoming season. Just such a threat could be coming on the market.

PFT’s Michael David Smith reported this morning that Percy Harvin is requesting a trade out of Minnesota. With seemingly few options at receiver behind Harvin, Smith is right that the team is going to be reluctant to trade him. Doing so would be perceived by many Vikings fans as waiving the white flag on the season before it even begins.

Two factors, however, might influence the Vikings to change their mind. The first is Harvin himself. An unhappy Harvin might be a less-than-productive Harvin. The Vikings need only look at Chad Ochocinco’s 2008 season that followed his “Trade Me, Mike” media campaign to see what can happen when a receiver wants out.

The second is the team’s confidence in the other receivers on the roster. The team spoke glowingly of Jerome Simpson during OTAs, although they surely envisioned him as a #2 behind Harvin. If they are truly confident in Simpson, and they think that Michael Jenkins or Devin Aromashodu can pick up the slack behind him, they may be more open to a deal. (That may be a huge “if”. I don’t know the Vikings roster very well.)

Harvin is under contract for two more years, scheduled to earn a reasonable $915,000 this year and $1.5 million next year. So he would fit easily within the salary cap.

If the Bengals are interested in Harvin, they have plenty of collateral to take a good run at him. They could offer Minnesota the 2nd round pick that they have coming from Oakland in next year’s draft. (I am not usually one to throw around high picks, but getting Harvin for a 2nd rounder is well worth it.) And to sweeten the pot, I would offer up Jordan Shipley as well. The team is swimming in slot receivers like Sanu, Whalen and Hawkins. (From the early reports on him, I have a hunch that Sanu could take over at the slot anyway.) Minnesota would get a decent threat and a pick in exchange for a big threat. A win-win for both teams.

Josh Kirkendall at CincyJungle.com argues that the Bengals should not pursue Harvin because of the salary cap issue that would be created when his current contract is up. I completely disagree. The Bengals are not obligated to re-sign Harvin in two years. When he is a free agent, let him sign for big money somewhere else, taking the compensatory pick. In the meantime, the team would have two years to identify and develop the guy who will replace Harvin.

Think about it: two years of flooding the field with Green + Harvin + Sanu + Gresham + Charles, sometimes all five at once! It is literally impossible to adequately defend!


  1. You are forgetting one important detail.Harvin wants a trade because he is unhappy with his contract. Why would the bengals trade for a guy that will probably sit out until he gets a new deal?

    • There is little doubt that a helping of grease will help the squeaky wheel. But with $19M of cap space, the Bengals have the cash to give right now. In two years — when Atkins’ and Dunlap’s current deals are up and when Dalton, Green and Gresham are going into the final year of their deals — is when the money will get tight… making it the perfect time to let Harvin walk.

  2. John, we have no idea if that’s why Percy isn’t happy. It may be with the performance of the Vikings since he was drafted, or perhaps a more personal issue with his coach or another player. Still, I don’t think Percy leaves Minnesota, I think whatever the issue is, it gets resolved, and I think we see a much better Minnesota team out on the field come September. Not necessarily one that’s going to make a Superbowl run, but definitely one that will be a tough team to beat.

    • I just saw this follow-up on PFT about Harvin’s situation. Florio believes that Harvin’s discontent involves but is not limited to money. He cites possible dissatisfaction with MIN bred by his friendship with the briefly-a-Viking Randy Moss. Coming to a team with a good chance to get to and do something in the playoffs could cure that.
      He also cites a likely interest from Harvin in being used more. If Florio is right about that, I think this idea is dead in the water. Harvin caught 87 balls last year; Green caught just 65. If Gruden called Harvin’s number enough times to get him 100 receptions, you’d have to expect as many or more for Green, who is without a doubt the #1 here. It definitely would work, but won’t Gruden want to be more balanced than that?

  3. Bill, my thoughts exactly. Talk about a perfect fit. We’d be flooding the field indeed. As excited as I am about this team, we are lacking explosiveness on offense beyond AJ. As a #2, this would solve that problem to say the least.

    What Minny needs right now is draft picks. I think we should go after him big time.

    Probably a pipe dream but damn, think about it!

  4. True we don’t know 100% for sure but when asked Harvin said that was part of his reason for requesting a trade. Also 9/10 times a player demands a trade they want a new contract, especially players on rookie deals

  5. No way, there is no gaurantee with his migraine history that Harvin will be on the field consistently, which isn’t much of an upgrade over what we currently have in Shipley. I think as it is the defense will have a hard time stopping Green, Sanu, Shipley, Gresham and whoever else.

  6. Antoniomagon says:

    Please no. I love Shipley. We do not need another WR being a headache, literally.