The Minnesota Vikings have certainly not had a boring offseason. For a team that most experts think will be mediocre at best, the Vikes have had their share of publicity during these off months of 2012. After tense stadium negotiations and what looks to be an excellent draft, the focus turned to OTA’s and the team’s minicamp during June. That’s where we find Percy Harvin making news.
The Minnesota WR/RB/do-everything offensive weapon started making noise a few weeks ago when he said publicly that he wasn’t happy with some things surrounding the Vikings. If that sounds vague, it’s because he has been vague about what exactly he’s not happy with. Coach Leslie Frazier addressed the matter in a minicamp press conference and said that he felt very confident that he could talk with Harvin and they would work out whatever the issues were. The next day sources like ESPN and Fox Sports were reporting that Percy was demanding a trade. Now today, weeks later, Harvin is saying that he will report to training camp in Mankato later this month. Ok, but what gives?
Whenever it comes out that a player is unhappy, most people go right to contract issues for an explanation, but there seems to be more to it than just his contract. Harvin has two years remaining on his rookie contract, which does pay him at a fairly low base level(approx $2.45 million 2012-2013 combined), however Minnesota’s multi-threat has already kicked in several incentives that will escalate his salary. He could hit almost $4.4 million for 2012-13 if he plays at the level that he has over the past three seasons(and stays healthy). No, there is more to this than just money. I believe that much of his discontent stems from the reality that the Vikings are going to have a tough time winning this year. Harvin is accustomed to being an important piece on a winning team. He was a huge star at Florida and helped them to a National Championship. Then when he arrived in the NFL he was immediately a big weapon for the playoff bound Vikings led by Brett Favre. For once, an NFL WR is being a diva because his team isn’t winning, instead of being concerned with his own numbers. Percy’s individual stats have gone up every year. He and QB Christian Ponder have developed a great chemistry on the field. This seems to be a winning combination, but the team is probably a year or two away from being a playoff team.
Now the ball is in Frazier’s court. His job is….., well first of he has to keep his job, and a big part of that is keeping the offense, including Harvin, on a path where they continue to get better. Minnesota needs to utilize Percy in a lot of different ways, especially since nobody really knows when Adrian Peterson will be at 100% coming off knee surgery. Percy says he will report. The only question now is can Leslie Frazier keep him happy.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).