Alright folks, there are plenty of thoughts on Percy Harvin and his rumored falling out with the coaching staff of the Vikings. Fraiser and company have been pretty tight lipped about this since they placed him on season ending IR. The few things he has said don't really point to a definitive resolution for fans on if Harvin will be wearing purple next year. Here is a timeline of what we do know about the situation.
Note: There were whispers in the last 2 seasons or so that Harvin was unhappy, wanted the ball more and wanted more money. The focus of this timeline is the 2012-2013 season.
- June 19th - Percy Harvin tells reporters that he is "unhappy" with his situation in Minnesota. Sits out from team's Mini Camp activities.
- June 20th - Reports surface claiming that Percy Harvin had requested to be traded from the Minnesota Vikings. Harvin takes to Twitter and muddies the water even more saying "I said I have issues to be worked out money not at all being the problem...I've dne [sic] everything asked and more..." & "me and cch [sic] have been speaking and are on same page...theres nothin I can do." Later that day, Percy appears at Mini Camp activities but does not participate.
- July 27th - Smile on his face, Percy Harvin joins coaches and teammates down in Mankato, MN for an extended training camp that would span three weeks this year.
- August 8th - Tempers run as hot as the training camp weather, Percy and rookie safety Harrison Smith have to be separated after an altercation between the two broke out at the afternoon session of a training camp practice.
- September 9th - November 4th - Percy takes to the field and dominates the competition. 62 catches, 677 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns place Harvin in the conversation for League MVP.
- November 4th - Harvin seen screaming at head coach Leslie Frazier on the sidelines in Seattle. Ends up leaving game against Seahawks with serious ankle injury.
- December 5th - After missing three straight games, Minnesota Vikings announce that they have placed Percy Harvin on injured reserve, ending his 2012 season.
- December 20th - Word leaks that there may have been a heated exchange between head coach Leslie Frazier and Percy Harvin in the weight room at Winter Park prior to Harvin being placed on the injured reserve list.
- January 2nd - Word gets out that Percy Harvin has not been around the facility since being placed on injured reserve and has been rehabbing at his home in Florida.
-Timeline courtesy of KFAN.com
After the season Fraiser had the season exit interviews with Harvin and he basically said that there was no issue with Harvin and the meeting was productive. GM Rick Spielman later said basically the same thing. However, reading between the lines, it seems like the sides are farther apart than indicated by the Vikings staff. Harvin has been mum about his feelings towards the Vikings, and wasn't even publicly supporting the team during their late season run to the playoffs. Even though the Vikings staff has said all the right things, I feel there is a decent chance the Vikings will be shopping for the right trade partner for Harvin this offseason.
I personally would hate to see Harvin in any other color next year. He is a weapon, and has nearly as much potential to do a great amount of damage to a defense as the MVP. He is one of the top ten weapons in the league, and is probably the most versatile player in the NFL. He was a front runner for MVP before he became injured. There is really no way I would want to see him go, even with the off field stuff going on with him. A player like this has immense value to a team.
However, as I stated above, its looking less and less like Harvin will be a Viking next season. Is this really a bad thing?? Lets debate this.
1) At 24 years old and entering his 5th season, Harvin has wowed many with his tremendous skillset. Early indications say that hes only worth a 2nd round pick this year. I feel that this is very low. Harvin is, hands down, WAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY better than anybody in this draft, and I think he hasn't even reached his full potential yet. If the Vikings can get better than a 2nd round pick for him (At least mid first round) the May be able to draft a WR and a DT that the team needs.
2) There is another player entering Free agency that has a similar skillset to Harvin. His name is Donnie Avery. Although Avery isnt exactly like Harvin, He is definitely a good WR and a suitable replacement to Harvin (although a clear downgrade) who wont come with the cost. Its reported that Harvin will want upwards of $10 million per year. Avery will be a LOT cheaper than Harvin. Danny Amendola is also a viable option, but also a downgrade at the position. Also the Vikings have Wright to fall back on, who ended up playing pretty well in Harvins absence.
3) Not giving Harvin a big contract could enable the Vikings to go after Dwayne Bowe or Mike Wallace. Both players would give the Vikings the type of reciever they need to help Christian Ponder in his progression as an NFL QB.
4) In Harvins absence, Ponder played the best football (and worst football) of his young career. Harvin was Ponders security blanket. Without him, Ponder clearly struggled, reaching a low at Green Bay by not being able to use his recievers until the last 4 minutes of the game. Ponder was clearly missing Harvin. But then an interesting thing happened. Ponder started to find other receivers and started to flourish without his best WR. It culminated against Green Bay at The Dome, where Ponder played the best game of his career. Not having Harvin forced Ponder to progress as a player.
Losing Harvin would not be good, and would make many fans very upset with the Vikings, It may not necessarily be a bad thing either. Either decision comes with its good and bad sides. Whats your take on Harvin?