After coming up 9 yards short of the single season NFL rushing record, Adrian Peterson will look to (somehow) build upon his awe-inspiring 2012 season. Unfortunately for the Vikings, Peterson’s superman season wasn’t enough to compensate for deficiencies in other areas. Namely, the junior high-level receiving corps. Other than Percy Harvin, the Vikings receivers were laughably ineffective. That is why the possibility of trading their second best playmaker is such a concern.
Harvin played his last game November 4th and still lead the Vikings in receptions and yardage at season’s end. Of his 677 receiving yards, 531 came after the catch. That figure is still good for third best in the NFL. Those numbers showcase Harvin’s ability to take a short gain and turn it into something big, and it is a skill the Vikings desperately need to retain.
Harvin has been bickering about his contract since last summer. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is looking to get paid, but the Vikings seem hesitant to do so. Harvin is regarded as one of the NFL’s toughest players, and his play on the field is breathtaking at times, but there have been behind-the-scenes issues.
It was reported that Harvin went off on a tirade at Coach Lezlie Frazier during the season, which is a reason many players are given their walking papers. Frazier and Harvin have been rumored to have a rocky relationship, but the coach is publicly defending their star receiver.
A holdout is certainly a possibility, and trade rumors have been in the works for weeks. Still, despite Harvin’s clashes with Frazier and his disgruntled attitude, Minnesota needs to do everything they can to retain him.
I’m not a frequent (or…ever) presence in the Vikings locker room, but it sounds like Harvin is not exhibiting disruptive behavior. If he was considered a locker room cancer, it would be well known. If the receiver can get on the same page with Frazier and the organization, the 24-year-old will give the Vikings a dimension that is utterly lacking without him. Everything isn’t all sunshine and roses between the Vikings and Harvin, but if it is in any way reparable, Minnesota needs to make the right move.