On Monday, one day before the beginning of free agency, the Vikings dealt wideout Percy Harvin to the Seahawks in exchange for a first round pick, a seventh round pick, and a mid-round pick in next year’s draft.
The trade works out well for both teams. The Vikings knew that keeping Harvin would be difficult. If they were stubborn, they could have held onto him, had him holdout, then see him leave as an unrestricted free agent next year, getting nothing in return. Now, they have two picks in the first round (the 23rd and 25th picks, the latter the pick from Seattle). The Seahawks, on the the other hand, get a weapon who has already run offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense before in Minnesota from 2009 and 2010. Seattle was knocking on the door of the NFC title game last season, and a do-it-all player like Harvin adds a whole new dimension to an already solid offense.
So you’re probably thinking that there is no loser in this trade. But there’s one team that should be worried. And it’s a team that has had a lot of trouble in recent history during the offseason with sealing the deal with big names.
That team would be the Dolphins. While sources were saying earlier Monday that Mike Wallace to the Dolphins was a “done deal”, the fact that Percy Harvin got traded away from Minnesota suddenly makes the Vikings players in the Wallace sweepstakes. Let’s not forget that the Vikings tried trading for Anquan Boldin during the day, too, and it’s obvious that Vikings GM Rick Spielman wants to upgrade the receiver position, regardless of what the Harvin trade tells you.
With Harvin wanting to be paid “Megatron-money”, the Vikings were a long-shot of re-signing him to a long-term contract, and made it virtually impossible for them to be players in the free agent market of top receivers featuring Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings, and Victor Cruz (who’s the lone restricted free agent of the group). Trading Harvin frees up some cap room, and the money that could have gone to him can now go to a player who can actually stretch the field vertically. And who can stretch a defense right now better than Mike Wallace?
Wallace possesses rare speed for a top wideout. He may not be the best route runner or have the best hands, but when Adrian Peterson is in the backfield drawing eight- and nine-man fronts, having speed and size (6-0, 199 pounds) is extremely valuable. Wallace won’t see a ton of eight- man fronts in Miami.
Also, the Dolphins are in the same division as the Patriots, and the Patriots own the division. The Dolphins, meanwhile finished 7-9 last season, while the Vikings finished 10-6 and earned a playoff berth despite having the league’s second-worst passing game. Throw in the fact that the Pro Bowl MVP plays tight end in Minnesota, and you’d have to think that Mike Wallace would be all over taking his talents up north.
Miami, then, would have suffered through a third straight offseason of “what ifs?” Two years ago they tried landing Jim Harbaugh. It didn’t happen. Last year they tried getting Peyton Manning to South Beach. It didn’t happen. Now, after reports saying that Wallace is a near-lock to sign with the Dolphins, the Harvin trade suddenly makes the Vikings contenders for Mike Wallace. The bone wouldn’t be yanked from the dog’s mouth. It’d be pulled out from halfway down its throat.
While today gave the Twitter and NFL world a lot to talk about, a Mike Wallace signing would give us true winners and losers with the Harvin trade. We won’t know for sure until sometime tomorrow, but if Wallace escapes to Minnesota, Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland will have sent his fan base into a frenzy.