Scoggins: Harvin's nonstop drama wore thin with Vikings

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 12, 2013 - 7:21 AM

Harvin provided some thrilling moments and high-level production for four seasons. But he made life uncomfortable off the field and walked away from the team last season.

Percy Harvin conducted his introductory news conference with the Vikings in April 2009. He was polite and charming that day, and more important, he seemed remorseful about a failed drug test that caused him to tumble down the draft board into the Vikings’ arms at No. 22.

Harvin made a favorable first impression with his candor and humility. He looked into a wall of cameras and told everyone that he’s “not a phony person.” He didn’t sound like the same guy depicted as a malcontent and troublemaker at Florida.

Not sure what to make of Harvin, I called a writer who covered him in college for an unvarnished opinion. He paused for a few seconds.

“With Percy,” he said, “it’s always something.”

Those words came rushing back Monday with news that the Vikings traded Harvin to Seattle for several draft picks, including a first-rounder (No. 25 overall) in the upcoming draft. This is one of those polarizing trades that shakes the NFL — a team ridding itself of an elite talent and popular player in the prime of his career.

Some Vikings fans will love the move, some will hate it. But this outcome seemed inevitable the moment Harvin disappeared from Winter Park this season. As his teammates came together for a common purpose to make the playoffs, Harvin retreated to Florida, unhappy with something or someone.

That was simply Harvin being Harvin. It’s always something with him, which is why the Vikings couldn’t risk giving him a top-dollar contract in line with the NFL’s best receivers. What if that didn’t make him happy, either?

This stare-down was never about talent. Harvin is one of the most physically gifted and unique players in the league. He’s breathtaking with the ball in his hands, a combination of running back and wide receiver who is not afraid to take on linebackers in open field. He’s exceptional as a kickoff returner, too. And he gives nothing but maximum effort on the field, which endeared him to fans and gained him respect around the league. That kind of talent and production won’t be easy to replace.

Some will blame the Vikings for not bending over backward to make the relationship work or for not tolerating a volatile player. Harvin is not the first player to act like a drama diva, of course. Maybe they could have done more, but we don’t know what happened or what was said in private conversations.

One recent report suggested the Vikings feared Harvin might hold out as long as possible if they didn’t meet his contract demands. Whatever the reason(s), the organization obviously felt the relationship was damaged beyond repair and that they are better off without Harvin, despite everything that he provides on the field.

In the end, Harvin just seemed like he didn’t want to be here anymore. He reportedly argued with Leslie Frazier, and there were rumors of his unhappiness over the team’s choice of quarterback. He didn’t even stick around as his team showed some life and fight in chasing a playoff berth.

Harvin put the Vikings in a tough spot because he’s an elite player who wanted to be paid accordingly, but his wild mood swings and petulant behavior made it impossible to trust him. He once threw a weight at former coach Brad Childress during an argument and even sparred with a player-friendly and mild-mannered coach in Frazier.

Harvin was a tough guy to read. He could be engaging and funny one day, grumpy and terse the next. The Vikings never really knew what to expect from him.

Harvin stunned everyone — even coaches and teammates — when he showed up for voluntary workouts last spring, vowing to take a leadership role. He texted Frazier when he arrived in town, to which his coach replied, “Is this the real Percy Harvin?”

Harvin requested a trade three weeks later and then pretended it didn’t happen 24 hours after that. Eventually, that act becomes tiresome and is detrimental to the culture that Frazier is trying to create.

Naturally, this move weakens the Vikings on the field, but we’ll reserve ultimate judgment until we see the team’s countermoves in free agency and the draft. General Manager Rick Spielman recouped a nice haul in return, considering the circumstances.

Harvin provided some thrilling moments and high-level production for four seasons. But he made life uncomfortable off the field and walked away from the team last season.

A trade like this is difficult, but maybe it’s best for everyone involved.

  • related content

  • Harvin traded by Vikings to Seattle for draft picks

    Tuesday March 12, 2013

    Feeling at the point of no return, the Vikings traded the disgruntled wide receiver to Seattle.

  • Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin (12).

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Golden State 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Vancouver 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Arizona 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Montreal 6:00 PM
Columbus
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Toronto
Chicago 6:30 PM
Florida
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 7:30 PM
Nashville
Ottawa 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Detroit 9:30 PM
San Jose
Northern Ky 78 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
East Tenn St 28 1st Half 3:59
Citadel 28
Winthrop 6:00 PM
Campbell
Delaware 6:00 PM
Drexel
Jacksonville St 6:00 PM
Eastern Ky
Northeastern 6:00 PM
Elon
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Fair-Dickinson
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
Furman
Char Southern 6:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Western Ill 6:00 PM
IUPUI
Nebraska Omaha 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Radford 6:00 PM
Liberty
St Francis-NY 6:00 PM
Long Island
Wofford 6:00 PM
Mercer
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Michigan State
High Point 6:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
Samford 6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Nebraska 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Wagner 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Houston 6:00 PM
Temple
Vanderbilt 6:00 PM
Tennessee
Chattanooga 6:00 PM
Va Military
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Wright State
Coastal Carolina 6:00 PM
Presbyterian
Central Conn St 6:00 PM
Bryant
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
Appalachian St
SIU Edwardsville 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Green Bay 7:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
FIU 7:00 PM
Marshall
Rider 7:00 PM
Monmouth
Eastern Ill 7:00 PM
Murray State
Charlotte 7:00 PM
North Texas
North Dakota St 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Old Dominion 7:00 PM
Rice
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Tennessee St
Fla Atlantic 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Northern Ariz 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Grand Canyon 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Utah Valley U 7:05 PM
UMKC
ULM 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Texas-Arlington 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 7:30 PM
Ark-Little Rock
Troy 7:30 PM
Texas State
Arizona 8:00 PM
Colorado
SMU 8:00 PM
Memphis
Tenn Tech 8:00 PM
Morehead State
Rutgers 8:00 PM
Purdue
Southern Utah 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Montana State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Montana 9:00 PM
Idaho
BYU 9:00 PM
Portland
Pacific 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
Arizona State 9:30 PM
Utah
San Diego 10:00 PM
Gonzaga
St Marys-CA 10:00 PM
San Francisco
Oregon State 10:00 PM
Stanford
Long Beach State 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Rice 68 FINAL
Old Dominion 83
Georgia Southern 39 2nd Half 1:51
Appalachian St 61
Manhattan 62 2nd Half 2:56
Monmouth 75
Marshall 36 2nd Half
FIU 23
TX-Arlington 20 1st Half 3:30
Arkansas State 31
ULM 22 1st Half 1:49
South Alabama 17
Georgia State 2 1st Half 18:43
Ark-Little Rock 2
Troy 6 1st Half 16:43
Texas State 2
LSU 6:00 PM
Ole Miss
(11) Miss State 6:00 PM
(2) South Carolina
North Texas 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
William & Mary 6:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
Delaware 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
UMBC 6:00 PM
Maine
UMass Lowell 6:00 PM
Vermont
Albany 6:00 PM
Hartford
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Binghamton
Boston College 6:00 PM
(8) Louisville
(23) Syracuse 6:00 PM
Clemson
(16) Duke 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Florida 6:00 PM
Alabama
NC State 6:00 PM
(9) Florida State
Miami-Florida 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Iona
Marist 6:00 PM
Saint Peters
Quinnipiac 6:00 PM
Rider
Virginia 6:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Pittsburgh 6:00 PM
(4) Notre Dame
Ohio State 6:00 PM
Penn State
Indiana 6:00 PM
(5) Maryland
Massachusetts 6:00 PM
Dayton
(22) George Washington 6:00 PM
Richmond
Saint Louis 6:00 PM
Rhode Island
Wright State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Green Bay 6:00 PM
Oakland
Central Arkansas 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
SE Louisiana 6:30 PM
Northwestern St
Missouri 7:00 PM
(12) Texas A&M
Denver 7:00 PM
No Dakota State
IUPU-Ft Wayne 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
IUPUI 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Lamar 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Nicholls 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Western Ill 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
(13) Kentucky 7:00 PM
Arkansas
Wisconsin 7:00 PM
(17) Iowa
(20) Rutgers 7:00 PM
(25) Northwestern
North Dakota 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
(24) California 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Stanford 8:00 PM
(7) Oregon State
USC 8:00 PM
Washington
Portland 8:00 PM
BYU
Gonzaga 8:00 PM
San Diego
San Francisco 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Auburn 8:00 PM
Vanderbilt
(6) Tennessee 8:00 PM
Georgia
Chicago State 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UMKC 8:00 PM
Utah Valley U
Eastern Washington 8:00 PM
Montana State
Idaho 8:00 PM
Montana
Louisiana Tech 0 Postponed
Texas-El Paso 0
UCLA 9:00 PM
Washington St
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
Pacific
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
Cal-Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
Long Beach St
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Davis
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 NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close