Early this morning, reports surfaced from up in Minnesota that they were the home state of a disgruntled receiver. Apparently, Percy Harvin is upset at his current situation with the Vikings and wants to surround himself by a better environment; i.e. another team.
Harvin announced through "friends" (original credit to Associated Press) that he would like to be traded from the Vikings. Is the problem that the team signed a convicted felon in wideout Jerome Simpson for money extremely close to his? Is it that he's gone through the offseason program with Christian Ponder and wants to escape from a sinking Not-In-Love Boat? Nobody is quite sure, but Harvin wants out.
The Vikings GM Rick Spielman immediately came out and said they aren't trading him; but seriously... that's what all front offices say initially! Heck, Dallas tried to trade Mike Jenkins at the draft and is now saying they aren't trading him for anything. We don't believe you, you need more people!
As soon as the news started circulating on Twitter, I asked the question of our Cowboys followers if they think the front office should kick the tires on a potential trade; just as a bit of a pot-stirrer. Most responders said yes to going ahead to seeing if there was a chance to bring him in; some for a draft pick and some for Mike Jenkins.
Harvin has his warts as a player as he has never been able to overcome his debilitating migraine problems that seem to crop up several times a year. However, there's no denying his worth on the football field. His PFF passing game grades over his three-year career? ('09) +11.3 ('10) +12.1 ('11) +14.2. For comparisons, our own Dez Bryant's two-year passing grades are +4.3 and +12.5, respectively.
Now Harvin is the quintessential slot receiver; standing at 5'11" and weighing 184 lbs. He is also one of the league's best kick returners (not punts, he doesn't do those) returning four for touchdowns in his three years. However, the dude is going to want more money.
Follow the jump for some random musings and more tidbits from the kingdom of the Cowboys.
The Vikings need secondary help worse than the Cowboys did. Five of their six worse defenders (according to PFF) were DB's, however they accrued grades in the negative double digits with limited snap totals; showing they were egregiously overmatched. They are a rebuilding team and did select Josh Robinson in April's draft; but they have to face Green Bay, Detroit and Chicago twice a year each. They need serious depth at cornerback.
Would they be interested in a Mike Jenkins for Percy Harvin swap?
Should the Cowboys be interested in offering that trade? Adding Harvin to the wide receiver fold could be the dynamic change that would take the Cowboys passing game from very good to elite. However, Dallas has a lot of money tied up with Miles Austin and Jason Witten and will have to pay Dez Bryant sooner rather than later. As O.C.C. covered earlier, the salary cap isn't increasing for a while and Dallas is operating from $5 million in the red on next year's cap already.
Remembering the elephant in the room that Dallas needs to resign Tony Romo or begin to rebuild, is this the move to make? I know the usual response, let's see what these young receivers can do, but has Dallas even had an sniff in this department since Austin in 2006? Could Stephen Jones work some salary cap magic to make things work? What's your take here?
Jay Ratliff had a better than decent year, unless the only thing you use to judge defenders on is their sack total; a ridiculous idea especially for a position that doesn't necessarily garner many tackling stats. He is, without a doubt, one of the Cowboys better defenders and leaders. For 2012, he says the defenses' plan is to "shut up and do our jobs," according to this article from the Star Telegram.
"We’re not going to sit here and talk about what we’re going to do this year or all the expectations everyone else has for us,"
After providing a bunch of accolades to teammate Jason Hatcher and the rest of the defense, reality struck Jay and he returned to the theme.
"Honestly, we don’t have room to talk," he said. "The giants are the Super Bowl champions. They’ve won two Super Bowls in the last five years. We just need to be quiet and do our jobs. Nothing else."
Jason Witten appeared in Abilene recently and gave a lengthy interview as an investor in D1 Sports training facility. He touched several topics including last year's disappointing 8-8 finish and his desire to win a Super Bowl. Of course, the news that's making the rounds is his description of quarterback Tony Romo as an elite quarterback. From reporternews.com:
"There's high expectations for Cowboys," he said. "There's been some great quarterbacks who have come through that organization. You look at Roger Staubach and Troy (Aikman), and the expectations are Super Bowls. He's a phenomenal, cool quarterback. He's an elite quarterback. But until we win the big game, the criticism is going to come. We understand that, and we have high expectations. Tony is a phenomenal player and a phenomenal player for our football team."
And despite what many people think, Witten said, Romo has not been at fault for the Cowboys' failures since he took over as the team's starter. But he understands why Romo tends to be the fan's whipping boy.
"That's part of playing that position," he said. "He's a great player. Look at what he did — 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions (last season). He was up there among the top five in quarterbacks this year. That's just the way it goes. You can't cry about it. I just hope the fans know what a good player he is. Hopefully we can win a championship."
The NFL is apparently trying to do their best to warn incoming rookies that things can go terribly wrong for not only the high draft picks, but the middle-tier picks that go on to become the games' biggest stars.
Some of the speakers at Sunday's rookie symposium: Mike Vick, Pacman Jones, Terrell Owens, Michael Irvin, and Antonio Freeman.— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) June 20, 2012
Assuming here, but it looks like Jerry Jones telling Terrell Owens to reach out to him might have earned T.O. an appearance fee or two.