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

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston 3 Top 9th Inning
Texas 4
St. Louis 8 Top 9th Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Arizona 6 Top 8th Inning
Minnesota 2
LA Angels 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Oakland 6
San Francisco 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Los Angeles 0
Colorado 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
San Diego 1
Chicago 24 4th Qtr
NY Jets 16
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 0 2nd Prd 20:00
Philadelphia 0
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 2 3rd Prd 4:05
Dallas 4
Anaheim 1 3rd Prd 19:31
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 2nd Prd
Anaheim 2
Los Angeles 3 2nd Prd
Arizona 1
Arizona 0 1st Prd 9:48
Los Angeles 1
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
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 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
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