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Ten-Point Stance: Big-name WRs biggest FA catches this offseason

by | National NFL Insider

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin is ticked off. Then again, Percy Harvin seems like he's always ticked off.

This isn't just about Harvin's contract situation, either. It's been known for some time that Harvin would sit out much of this offseason unless he was rewarded with a new deal. A very rich, new deal. No, this is about how Harvin has been mad at something or someone ever since he was in high school. He was during suspended his junior season in high school football. He was suspended his senior year for two games -- for shoving an official. In basketball, he got into a scuffle on the court that led to discipline. Because of all those incidents, he was eventually suspended from all athletic competition. Think about that.

At the University of Florida, Harvin got into a physical confrontation with an assistant coach. Then he failed a drug test at the Indianapolis combine. As a Vikings player, he got into a confrontation with then-coach Brad Childress.

Harvin is a peach. The kind of guy you'd want your daughter to marry -- if you really hated your daughter.

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But here's the thing. No matter how large of a petulant jerk Harvin is, he's getting paid. He will be rewarded by someone and rewarded handsomely.

The upcoming offseason will be one of the more interesting in recent years not because of the quarterbacks like Joe Flacco or Alex Smith but because of the wide receivers in the market.

The quarterback shuffle will be anticlimactic, especially with Flacco. He will stay in Baltimore. That's all but guaranteed. There's no way the Ravens will let him go. No way.

In a wide open NFL that's increasingly getting wider (maybe literally some day), wide receivers are almost as big as game-changers as the pass throwers. There are three wide receivers whose futures aren't yet determined but who could alter the course of next season and seasons beyond because they're that good.

 Harvin: He's told at least one Vikings teammate he wants to be paid among the top three wide receivers in football. Not top 10. Not top five. Top three. There are some insane teams in the NFL that would give a turdtastic man like Harvin that kind of money, too. But the coach of that team had better wear headgear when Harvin is in a bad mood.

A team that signs Harvin will say what teams and coaches have always said about hard-to-coach players -- we'll be the ones to control him. Now, that philosophy did work recently with San Francisco and Randy Moss. Then again, even Moss never screamed at or shoved or made contact with either a coach or ref at the high school, college and pro levels the way Harvin has. (And remember, the Vikings shipped off Moss to Oakland because, at the time, he was the biggest jerk in football.)

Despite his troubles, imagine Harvin in a Patriots uniform. Or with Denver.

Make no mistake: the Vikings will try to trade Harvin. They love his ability, they just don't trust him. Can't blame them at all.

  Wes Welker: The Patriots love Welker but there's no question the team will be more than ready to let him walk. They certainly won't use the franchise tag yet again at the cost of $11.4 million, or about $2 million more than what they paid him last year. There's a solid chance the two sides could work out a long-term deal but I'm hearing that looks increasingly less likely.

I've written about Welker before, and believe he is the most underrated player in all of football and has been for several years. If Welker doesn't stay in New England, there would be a slew of teams waiting to sign him. Imagine Welker with the Giants, Broncos or Ravens. Sure, some of the Welker suitors are cash-strapped, but they'd find a way. Welker is the kind of player that could make a Super Bowl contender a Super Bowl winner and a good team a Super Bowl contender.

  Victor Cruz: It's highly probable Cruz and the Giants will work out a long-term deal before March 12 free agency opens. But there is no guarantee, and if they don't, they'll first-round tender Cruz's butt. This would make Cruz an attractive target for teams to pilfer. There will be plenty of teams with the salary room willing to give up a first-round pick to get Cruz.

Watch these three guys. No, they're not the QBs. They're sexier. And this offseason, they will have a bigger impact.

2. Speaking of the Broncos, I'm told there are no plans to cut ties with future Hall of Fame defensive back Champ Bailey. Oh, yes, there are rumblings the Broncos might release Bailey but, again, so far at least, the Broncos plan to bring him back.

3. Washington has no intention of changing "Redskins," the most offensive name in sports. Owner Daniel Snyder has the power to change the name in 10 milliseconds but no plans are in the works to do so. What the franchise is basically telling offended American Indians? Kick rocks.

4. Former NFL owner Norman Braman ... thank you. THANK…YOU!

5a. Champ of the week: Matt Damon. The first and only actor related, non-football champ of the week goes to Damon for his recent role in the show House of Lies. I can't even explain why it was so funny without offending someone.

5b. Chump of the week: The NFL offseason. No more NFL regular season games until the fall. This is the fault of the Mayans.

5c. Tweet of the week: "Whoever will have me." -- wide receiver Greg Jennings, when asked what team he'd like to play for next season.

6. Don't be shocked if this coming year is Tom Coughlin's last.

7. As for the other New York team, I'm told this coming season we may see the calmest, least bombastic Rex Ryan ever. We'll see.

8. Two college kids snuck into the Super Bowl -- one of the most secure events in the world. So many people will get fired for allowing that to happen, the line will stretch from the Superdome to low orbit.

9. Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, may not be a household name to fans, but he's one of the smartest agents in the business. No way Baltimore allows Flacco to go, but the Ravens had better be careful and not get cocky.

10. Super Bowl in New York news ... from the Bergen Record newspaper: hotels are charging, in some cases, 10 times their normal price for the New York Super Bowl. The Red Carpet Inn, 9 miles from the stadium, is charging $699 a night during the weekend of the game. The normal price this time of year: $90.


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