There is no doubt the Minnesota Vikings’ wide receiver Percy Harvin is one of the best young skill position players in the National Football League. He is one of the most versatile wide receivers in the league. The Vikings, however, to be ready to trade him. As absurd as that might sound it might be the right move for the future of the Vikings.
During the first half of the regular season Harvin was among the leaders in receptions. He was a top kickoff return man and in many ways more productive than running back Adrian Peterson. But like many things that seem too good to be true, it was all bound to fall apart at some point.
Harvin and the Vikings’ coaches have been oil and water ever since Harvin’s second season. Many looked the other way when the former Florida standout got into it with former head coach Brad Childress. Nevermind that he allegedly threw a weight at ‘Chilly’ in the team weight room. None of the players liked Childress so it must have been the former coach’s fault – right?
Then there was the odd minicamp situation before this season when Harvin told everyone in the press that he wasn’t happy and wanted to be traded – only to have him question where reporters were getting that story, just a few days later. It has got to be the press’ fault – right?
Harvin then really turned on the wide receiver diva charm this season against the Seattle Seahawks when he pulled his best Terrell Owens impression by yelling at head coach Leslie Frazier on the sideline. Frazier – who had his team in the lead on the road at the time of the incident – is widely regarded around the league- or at least the Vikings’ organization-as a player’s coach and one of the easiest guys to get along with in the league.
There also is that little issue with Harvin’s contract expiring after next season. Sources are saying the former Gator is looking to become one of the highest paid wide outs in the league. With the recent contracts of guys like Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson, Harvin might price himself out of the Vikings’ plans even if he was a choir boy.
Some might even say the Vikings were better off in the second half of the season without their moody superstar. In the first nine games – games Harvin played, the team was 5-4. After he was hurt and ultimately put on injured reserve the team was 5-2. The schedule was much tougher in the second half of the season, also.
In the first five victories they included wins over Jacksonville, Detroit, Tennessee and Arizona. The second five wins – without Harvin- included wins over Green Bay, Houston and Chicago. The offense had their two best scoring games without him as well.
Granted, part of the reason the Vikings were able to excel after Harvin was put on injured reserve (and then was rarely seen around the Vikings’ training facility the rest of the year) was Peterson’s out of this world second half of the season. But it became clear that they could win without Harvin.
It is also clear that if the Vikings are pinning their future hopes on quarterback Christian Ponder, he can be awful and good with or without Harvin. Looking at quarterback rating, Samantha Steele’s husband had his two best games without Harvin and his two worst games with him.
I might be in the minority when it comes to Percy Harvin. As talented as he is, Harvin is exactly what the young Vikings do not need. Trade Percy Harvin before he blows up the salary cap and splits the locker room. Trade Percy Harvin before it is too late.