Forget his injury this year. Forget his offseason mini-pout and forget that he went underground this year after being injured while his teammates were making a run to the playoffs. Forget that he is 5-11, 184 pounds and has never even been a 1,000-yard receiver.
The Vikings need to make a high offseason priority of signing Percy Harvin, who has one year left on his rookie deal, to an extension. GM Rick Spielman addressed Harvin with members of the media on Thursday, saying, among other things:
"Percy comes to work every day. Everybody sees what Percy puts on the field. He plays the game as hard or harder than anyone else in the NFL [with] the effort that he puts up out there. So, we have no issues with Percy Harvin."
"We’re going to go through our process first before we make any decisions on any of our players, our [unrestricted free agents] or any extensions. All that stuff will be done over the next month here as we lay the game plan going forward.”
Let's not forget: Before this season, Harvin had missed three games in three years. And before he got hurt this year, it was Harvin -- not Adrian Peterson -- who was leading the charge as an NFL MVP candidate and certainly the team's offensive MVP.
This is a perfect time to commit to Harvin. Lock him up long-term and find one more bona fide WR threat either in the draft or free agency -- not an expensive No. 1 guy, just a quality outside receiver who can stretch the field and catch the ball -- and you have given Christian Ponder enough capable targets when other wideouts and tight ends are factored in. Don't underestimate Harvin's value even though the Vikings were 5-2 without him this season. He is an essential piece going forward, and treating him as anything else would be a mistake.