Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Teammate on Harvin's mystery December exit: 'We never got a clear answer on that'

Posted by: under Vikings, Adrian Peterson, Kevin Williams, Percy Harvin, Vikings draft Updated: March 11, 2013 - 7:36 PM

Well, all that Percy Harvin speculation came to a head in a big way Monday with the Vikings pulling the trigger on a trade and sending the dynamic 24-year-old receiver to Seattle in exchange for three draft picks: a first-rounder and a seventh-rounder this year and a third-rounder in 2014.

Still, even if General Manager Rick Spielman has a master plan to push the Vikings closer toward championship contention, a roster full of players is still awaiting a full explanation on why the Harvin trade was made.

League MVP Adrian Peterson took to Twitter to vent.

“The best all around player I ever seen or you'll ever see! Goes to Seattle! I feel like I just got kicked in the stomach. Several times!!!” Peterson wrote. “I wish my boy Percy nothing but success! God bless you homie.”

Veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams also took time out Monday to speak with the Star Tribune, sharing his candid thoughts on the deal.

On his initial reaction to the trade …

“I mean I wasn’t exactly celebrating when I heard about the deal. I wouldn’t say that I’m disappointed. But I mean, when you look at it on the surface, you say to yourself ‘Why in the world would we do this?’ It’s a situation where you never want to be going backwards or feel like you are. I guess we’ll see what we get in the draft or maybe even free agency. But that’s a crapshoot when you’re trying to make up for a guy as proven as Percy.”

On letting the news sink in …

“With losing a player like Percy, initially it’s always going to seem like a bad thing. But if we’re able to get somebody who’s really good in the draft, it can become a good thing. You wait and see. You have to. But that initial first look, makes you take a step back and go. ‘Man, why did we do this?’ At the same time, it’s a business and you have to understand that.”

On losing a top playmaker so late in his career …

“It’s tough. Because you look at our situation when we go 3-13 a couple years ago and 6-10 the year before that. Then we have such a good year last year and it seems like we’re in good shape. I still wish Percy could have finished the season. He could have helped us. But other things happened and we still ended up doing well when he was out. But he could have been another weapon down the stretch for us. And so you have to now look at a situation where you’re waiting to see what’s next. Like I say, it’s a crapshoot depending on what we get out of this draft. I’ll have to see what the compensation is that can help us try to make up for this.”

On the reaction amongst teammates when Harvin left the team after being placed on injured reserve in Week 14 …

“I wouldn’t say it bothered me. Because I don’t know what all what went on. And I couldn’t say for sure what the relationship was like between him and the coaching staff and management. We just don’t know what that situation was about. I don’t know what his reason was for taking off. I just know that he was gone. And that’s the way it was left. Nobody every just came out and explained it to us, like, ‘Hey, he left for A, B, C and D.’ So I don’t know what that relationship turned into. Was there something talked about? Was there a big problem? Or did he just leave? None of us really knew. I’m pretty sure it was addressed and we never got a clear answer on that. At all.”

On Harvin’s reputation as a hot-tempered problem child and whether that gets blown out of proportion …

“Percy, man, was cool as far as I was concerned. I always thought he was passionate about what he was doing. And sometimes, in relationships, that passion can create things that get out of hand at times. But to me, there’s nothing wrong with showing passion if you direct it the right way.”

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