Two interesting rumors that could end up involving the New England Patriots began to float around yesterday, and both of them are backed up by credible reports from Jason La Canfora and ESPN’s Tom Pelissero involving Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin.
According to a report from ESPN 1500 Twin Cities (Pelissero), the Vikings never intended to allow Harvin to play out the final season of his five-year rookie deal, and Pelissero adds that Harvin could end up costing the Vikings around $9 million. That could force the Vikings to trade away Harvin, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reportedly “loves Harvin”. Rumors early in the season swirled that the Pats could trade Wes Welker for Harvin, but those were only rumors and I definitely can’t see that coming to fruition after this season. I love Harvin, but I love Welker even more.
But here’s the thing, the Vikings won’t even be asking for Welker nor do they want Welker (at least, that’s my guess on the latter one). The Vikings want to add some draft picks, but I could also see them looking to acquire Welker should they decide to add a short and intermediate threat to match up with Christian Ponder’s strengths (accuracy) as a quarterback.
The New England Patriots might add a new safety to the roster in the offseason, and that would involve allowing Patrick Chung to walk in free agency. Although Chung is a bit injury-prone and has too many lapses in coverage, he is a hard-hitter, a leader for this secondary, and a very good safety in run support. Losing Chung would sting a little, especially since he is the best fit for the in-the-box strong safety role opposite of deep free safety Devin McCourty.
But I wouldn’t be complaining about that if the Patriots can snag Ravens free safety Ed Reed. In fact, the Pats could feasibly keep Chung and Reed if they wanted to, but that would mean trying to get rid of Steve Gregory. He was just signed this offseason, so that’s probably not happening. Whatever the Pats plan to do this offseason with regards to the safety shuffle, it will most likely end up making sense.
Jason La Canfora reported on NFL Today yesterday that Reed’s teammates believe that the 34-year-old future Hall of Famer will not stay with the team after the 2012 season. If that’s the case, then it’s going to be weird watching the Ravens play without Reed and Ray Lewis.
The report listed the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints as possible destination points for Reed, and all three of these teams could use Reed. The New England Patriots should also be in the mix, because Bill Belichick loves Reed. If the Pats beat the Houston Texans, then Reed and the Ravens will be coming to Foxborough next week in what will prove to be another hard battle. The Ravens are looking for revenge after the Pats edged them out last year in the AFC Championship, but first the Pats have to quiet down another revenge-filled team today in the Houston Texans.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.