Reportedly, the Vikings will send Percy Harvin to the Seahawks for a first and seventh round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and a third-round selection in 2014.
Harvin led the Vikings in receptions (62), receiving yards (677) and kick return yards (574), despite playing just nine games last season.
Everyone knows the talent and enigmatic behavior of the star receiver. But only the Vikings know the real Percy Harvin. His migraine issues, last season's ankle issue, the arguments he has had with coaches. Entering his final year of his rookie contract, Harvin reportedly sought to be one of the highest paid wide receivers. Also, it became quite apparent that he was not going to re-sign with the Vikings.
Everyone already knew the Vikings need to upgrade its receiving group, but the need only amplifies without Harvin.
The Vikings return just three receivers. Fourth round draft pick Jarius Wright, 22 catches for 310 yards and two touchdowns in seven games as a rookie last season, is the best of the trio. He is the expected replacement for Harvin as the slot receiver. He performed well in that role after Harvin's injury.
Stephen Burton, a seventh round draft choice in the 2011 draft, had five receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown. He has been in-and-out of the lineup in his two years with the Vikings.
The third returning receiver is Greg Childs, a fourth round draft pick last April that missed all of last season after injuring his knee in training camp. He has the size and downfield playmaking ability the Vikings need. However, a history of knee injuries, along with the most recent surgery, creates questions as to how explosive and effective he can be.
Where to go now
The Vikings have options...
1. Draft heavy at receiver. The Vikings have the 23rd, 25th and 52nd picks in the first two rounds. It could use all three on receivers, but with other needs it is unlikely. It is a foregone conclusion that the at least one of those picks will be used on a wide receiver. The names to watch are Keenan Allen of California, Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee, DeAndre Hopkins of Clemson, Quinton Patton of Louisiana Tech, Terrance Williams of Baylor and Robert Woods of USC.
2. Sign an unrestricted free agent. The timing of the trade could not be better for this scenario.
It is also the most logical and likely approach. The top free agents to watch are Mike Wallace and Greg Jennings. Wallace is a proven No. 1 deep threat for the Pittsburgh Steelers and presents the best option for the Vikings. He is still young at 26-years-old and averages over 17 yards per reception in his career.
Jennings' age and reported money interest make him a long shot to join the Vikings.
Jerome Simpson's name certainly has to come back into play as a No. 2 or 3 outside receiver. His best season came with the Cincinnati Bengals when he was on the field often, but was not the focal point of the offense. As a third option, he could give the Vikings what it thought it could get from him last season.
3. Sign restricted free agent Victor Cruz to an offer sheet. The Vikings could sign the former undrafted free agent to a contract the New York Giants could not match. With two first round picks, the Vikings could part with one for a proven commodity.
All three scenarios just mention the ways to upgrade the front of the wide receiver corps. The team will certainly fill the back end in with the returning players, mid-to-late round draft picks and/or cheap low-level free agents.