Hartman: Harvin's been gone while Vikings thrive

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 3, 2013 - 5:55 AM

 The injured wide receiver doesn't appear happy with management, which might listen to trade offers for him.

When the 2012 NFL schedule came out and listed the Vikings not playing the Packers and the Bears until the final six games -- in a stretch that included road contests at St. Louis and Houston -- nobody in their right mind thought a team that was 3-13 last year would go 4-2 in those final six games and make the playoffs.

And if somebody who knows something about the NFL had told you that without star wide receiver Percy Harvin, the Vikings would finish the season with victories over the Bears, Rams, Texans and Packers, it would have been hard to believe.

The Vikings announced that the reason they put Harvin on injured reserve on Dec. 6 was because of a bad ankle, and that is probably accurate. But people close to Harvin believe the team's second-best player might not be happy being a member of the Vikings in the future, and that his relationship with management is such that Harvin will be traded before the draft next year if the right offer is received.

But now that the Vikings have proven they can win without Harvin, there is more reason to believe that if his relationship with management doesn't improve, Harvin could be involved in some blockbuster deal.

After Harvin was hurt in a 30-20 loss in Week 9 to the Seahawks, the Vikings were 5-4 and he was accounting for 34 percent of the team's receptions (62 of 182) and 37.5 percent of their receiving yards (677 of 1,806). He also had three receiving touchdowns, 96 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, one kick return touchdown and a 35.9 yard return average on 16 kickoffs.

So there was legitimate concern that the Vikings receiving corps was in big trouble, especially after the Vikings beat the Lions and then went 1-2 in three games -- a road loss and a home victory against the Bears and a road loss to the Packers. In those three games, the Vikings had 45 receptions for 369 yards and 13 of those receptions went to running backs or fullbacks.

But in the final three weeks of the season -- all must-win games -- the Vikings receivers started to come around, with a number of players contributing.

Jerome Simpson caught 11 passes for 98 yards. Michael Jenkins had six receptions for 89 yards. Jarius Wright grabbed nine passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Rudolph was also effective at tight end, catching eight passes for 81 yards and a score.

So the regular season ended with Harvin still the team leader in catches and receiving yards, but there's no doubt the Vikings would have lost their final three games if the team's other pass catchers hadn't come through in big moments.

Contract almost up

Harvin has one year left on his contract, and he'll likely be looking for a larger amount of money to sign another one. If the Vikings are unable to re-sign Harvin in 2014, they could make him a franchise player. But the club could get two No. 1 draft choices if another team makes Harvin a better offer and he chooses to leave. If they kept him, the year after that he would be a free agent and the Vikings would get no compensation.

What makes it appear that Harvin is having some problem with management is he hasn't been around the team after going on IR. Most injured players still like to be around their teammates when they are making such a great playoff drive, as the Vikings have in the last part of the season, but Harvin has been absent.

When asked about Harvin not being around the team, coach Leslie Frazier said: "It's up to him. If he wanted to be around, he could be around. But the guys are working hard, doing everything they can. I know he wants the team to do well and that is important. But we have some other guys on IR as well, so it doesn't concern us."

Still, Harvin has a lot of friends on the team. For him not to be around when things are going so well for the team seems to speak to some kind of problem.

Jottings

• Asked to comment in Green Bay about Adrian Peterson, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he told Peterson after Sunday's game that, "He is incredible. I just told him after the game, he's the best. He is incredible to watch. I obviously don't like playing against him but he has had a great season back from an injury that I also suffered and I know how difficult that rehab is. I did it at 20 years old and he was a few years older than that. ... I give him a lot of credit as a fellow player. You can't help but watch him play and just be really impressed. I think he probably might have won the MVP [with his performance Sunday]. Hopefully we can win the playoff game [Saturday]."

• Vikings rookie kicker Blair Walsh was asked if his performance in Week 1 against the Jaguars -- in which he made a tying 55-yard field goal as time expired in regulation, then booted a 38-yarder to win it in overtime -- took the pressure off kicking a 29-yard game- winner on the last play against the Packers on Sunday. "You can never take pressure off other kicks," Walsh said. "They each have their unique set of pressures. You just go out there and try to hit it. I knew everything else around me was going to be perfect -- the blocking, the snap and the hold -- and if I just did my job, it would go through."

• Charles Woodson, one of the best defensive backs in the NFL, is healthy and will play for the Packers in Saturday's wild-card playoff game against the Vikings after being out since Week 7 because of a broken collarbone. On the other hand, there is a question about whether the Vikings' best cornerback, Antoine Winfield, will be able to play. His broken hand swelled up Sunday when he tried to play, and he had to come out. He is a big question mark for Saturday.

• Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway gave the offense a lot of the credit for winning the Packers game: "Offensively, obviously, we did an unbelievable job of putting some points on the board and keeping us in the ballgame. I can't say enough about [Peterson] and [Christian Ponder]."

• By losing to the Vikings (10-6), the Packers (11-5) fell to the No. 3 seed in the NFC. However, since the NFL went to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, 12 No. 3 seeds have reached the Super Bowl and six have won it.

• Looking back to Sunday's game, the Packers did a good job containing Peterson in the fourth quarter -- holding him to 14 yards on seven carries -- until he broke loose for the 26-yard run that set up the winning field goal.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Harvin's choice is to stay away

    Thursday January 3, 2013

    Percy Harvin led the NFL in receptions and was an early front-runner for NFL MVP until he suffered a torn ligament in his left ankle on Nov. 4 at Seattle.

  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 14 2nd Qtr 3:11
Detroit 17
Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Nashville
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 46 2nd Half 2:37
Tennessee 55
Oklahoma 33 1st Half 2:21
Butler 21
Austin Peay 1:00 PM
Brown
Princeton 1:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Coastal Carolina 1:30 PM
Chattanooga
Kansas 1:30 PM
Rhode Island
Wisconsin 2:30 PM
Georgetown
FIU 2:30 PM
USC Upstate
Long Island 3:00 PM
Stony Brook
San Diego 3:30 PM
Xavier
Illinois 4:00 PM
Indiana State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cal State Fullerton 5:00 PM
Wright State
Michigan State 5:30 PM
Rider
UCLA 6:00 PM
North Carolina
Marquette 7:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Long Beach State 7:30 PM
Western Mich
Stephen F Austin 8:00 PM
Prairie View
UAB 8:30 PM
Florida
Rice 8:30 PM
Mercer
San Jose St 10:00 PM
Washington
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
Ohio U 24 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 21
LSU 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 25 2nd Half
Furman 27
Clemson 28 1st Half 3:09
Ohio State 35
Idaho State 1:00 PM
San Diego State
East Carolina 1:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Santa Clara 2:30 PM
Texas-El Paso
Florida State 2:30 PM
Washington
Wichita State 2:30 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Wisconsin 3:15 PM
(1) South Carolina
BYU 5:00 PM
BYU-Hawaii
Kansas State 5:00 PM
LSU
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Montana
Illinois 5:00 PM
(9) Kentucky
Central Michigan 7:00 PM
Richmond
Oklahoma 7:15 PM
South Florida
Princeton 7:30 PM
Wake Forest
(19) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Butler
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close