The main story for the Minnesota Vikings this off-season. . .and, really, for the end part of the regular season, too. . .has been the drama surrounding wide receiver Percy Harvin. Harvin has always been regarded as a guy that's had a bit of an attitude, even going back to his high school days, and the Vikings knew this when they drafted him.
This off-season, there have been rumblings of a holdout and an altercation during the season with head coach Leslie Frazier. Rumors have been swirling that Harvin wants a contract extension, and with his performance going into the final year of his rookie contract, you could quite easily make the argument that he's earned one.
But if this report from Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole are true. . .well, I'll just paste it here:
While the Vikings and Harvin's agent, Joel Segal, have yet to exchange contract proposals, it's believed that Harvin wants money closer to what Calvin Johnson got from Detroit in 2012 (eight years, $132 million) than to Jackson or Bowe. That's an average of $16.5 million per year compared to a little more than $11 million for Jackson and Bowe. As one person put it about Harvin, he considers himself a "special" player and executives around the league have fed that attitude by telling people close to him how difficult it is to cover Harvin.
I'm going to put this as gingerly as I can. . .
There's not one damn team in the entire National Football League that's going to pay Percy Harvin $16.5 million a year. Not one. Or anything close to it. And no team in the National Football League is going to trade for him knowing that those are his potential contract demands.
Yes, I know that Harvin does this and does that and returns kicks and everything else. Tell me. . .if the Vikings are going to be giving a guy $16.5 million a year, do you think they're going to continue to risk him on the kick return, which you could argue is the most dangerous play in football? I would sure as heck think that they wouldn't. So that right there takes away from Harvin's value. He's never had a 1,000-yard receiving season before, he's had blowups with numerous coaches, he's displaying a significant attitude problem. . .to put it mildly, he certainly isn't enhancing his value at this point.
Oh, and there's this from Cole's article as well:
Harvin threatened to walk out on the team last offseason after hearing that former Florida teammate Aaron Hernandez received a contract extension after only two years.
Well. . .isn't that special?
Yes, Harvin is a wonderful football player. Adrian Peterson is a wonderful football player, too, and he's made even more wonderful by the fact that he shuts the hell up, does his job, and gets paid later. Harvin should take a page from his better, more successful teammate.
Like I've said numerous times, I love Percy Harvin, the football player. But if this is what it comes down to, then he needs to go. The Vikings could sign numerous players for what he reportedly wants, and my guess is that they wouldn't conduct themselves in this manner.
I think the odds of things ending well between Harvin and the Vikings just continue to decrease. This is another sign of that. I'd like to think it's not true, but there's no point in being completely naive about it, either.