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

  • Video: SidCast: Not optimistic about a Vikings win

    Thursday January 3, 2013

    Sid Hartman doesn't think the Vikings have much of a chance against the Packers on their home turf Saturday....

  • 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

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
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 NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close