Percy Harvin just might be wearing a San Francisco 49ers uniform next season in the NFL as the Minnesota Vikings will pursue a trade before spring training.
The 49ers are coming off a Super Bowl XLVII loss to the Baltimore Ravens with serious questions surrounding their weaker offense and receiving core, which was reduced to minimal targets in the playoffs for the second season in a row.
Harvin, on the other hand, is reportedly demanding a trade from the Vikings and has plans for a new home next season.
Harvin’s sideline spat and reported volatile arguments with head coach Leslie Frazier in November 2012 have made Harvin the most coveted player on the offseason trade block.
Harvin had 62 receptions for 677 yards and three touchdowns in 2012 before tearing a ligament in his ankle on Nov. 4 against the Seattle Seahawks.
While Harvin would fit nicely on any NFL’s teams roster, the 49ers arguably make the most sense for the talented and versatile wide receiver.
Return man Ted Ginn, Jr. is a free agent and likely will not return to the team after a rather disappointing 2012-13 campaign that saw him become a liability in the return game and a non-entity in the passing game. Harvin would fill that void nearly perfectly.
More than anything, San Francisco has the pieces to trade for a player of Harvin’s caliber. Alex Smith is expected to be traded or released before April 1, as will his $8.5 million per year contract, giving the 49ers money to spend on a possible extension for Harvin — a point Harvin is sure to make clear in the acquisition of him.
Draft picks are also something the Vikings will surely want in return for the wide receiver, and the 49ers have plenty in the 2013 NFL draft — 14 to be exact — including the No. 31 overall pick and three third round picks. It is certainly something Minnesota will take a good look at as they continue to look to build a competitive team around NFL MVP Adrian Peterson.
Harvin is a risk to those teams that wish to acquire his services, though. His volatile personality is a bit of a worry, but his upcoming contract may be an even bigger point of interest. He is in the last year of his deal with the Vikings that will pay him $2.9 million in 2013, and a contract extension presumably in the ballpark of $10 million per year is expected.
However, some reports suggest that the 49ers would have a hard time meeting Harvin’s extention standards if the NFL runner-ups acquire him.
“The Vikings are struggling with what to pay Harvin, who is signed only through 2013 and who is due for a contract extension. Any team that acquires him — he’ll likely want a top-wide receiver contract — will have to face the same issue.”