The Minnesota Vikings ended a strained relationship with super-talented wide receiver Percy Harvin on Monday when they traded him to the Seattle Seahawks. In return the Vikings will receive Seattle's first and seventh round picks in the 2013 draft and Seattle's third round pick in the 2014 draft. The trade will be finalized when Harvin and the Seahawks agree to a contract extension.
Judging from his posting on Twitter yesterday, Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson is not pleased with trade. Peterson tweeted; "The best all around player I ever seen or you'll ever see! Goes to Seattle! I feel like I just got kicked in the stomach. Several times!!!"
Peterson is correct to be concerned that the Vikings simply traded away such a talented player but Harvin's run with Minnesota was never a smooth one. Injuries, missed practices, an ongoing issue with migraine headaches and a reputation as a malcontent followed Harvin around Minnesota from the day the Vikings drafted him in 2009 until yesterday. Harvin injured his ankle in the Vikings ninth game of the 2012 season, a 30-20 loss to the Seahawks, and missed the remainder of the season which saw the Vikings finish the season 5-2 (10-6 overall) and make the playoffs as a wildcard.
Things between the Vikings and Harvin while always strained appeared to have reached a point of no return during that game vs. the Seahwaks. Harvin shouted at Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier on the sidelines during that game. Nobody who knows what was said during the exchange has directly spoken about it but it has been speculated that it was the last straw for Frazier, a notorious player-friendly coach of whom Star-Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse once said "If you can't get along with Frazier, you can't get along with anybody".
Harvin's ankle injury, while serious, may not have warranted the Vikings placing him on injured reserve and ending his 2012 season. Further, instead of staying in Minnesota with the Vikings during their run to the playoffs, Harvin chose instead to leave the team and rehab his injury in Florida, a move incidentally which had the full blessing of the Vikings front office. Clearly, none of the Vikings brass wanted Harvin around.
To be clear, getting three draft picks for a wide receiver with a well-earned reputation as a head case and a prima donna isn't bad. That said, those who watched the Vikings struggle in the passing game most of the 2012 season are going to wonder why on earth the Vikings would trade away the one blue-chip they had in that area of the game.
Nobody, possibly not even some of Harvin's Viking (ex)teammates fully understand this trade but what it comes down to is that all the spectacular play Harvin provided on the field was not worth the headaches he perpetually caused off the field. For that to be the case, after all the amazing runs, both out of the backfield and after a catch, all the spectacular kickoff returns, Harvin has to either be the biggest pain the butt walking the planet or perhaps the Vikings have something else up their sleeve.
There has been some speculation that St. Paul native, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald may be available to be acquired via trade as Fitzgerald's current team, the Arizona Cardinals, are at a place where its time to clean house and start over. Getting Fitzgerald would ease a lot of concerns from Vikings players and fans alike. Free agency opens on Tuesday in the NFL as well and the Vikings may be able to acquire a top-tier receiver without having to trade away players and/or draft picks. That all remains to be seen but what is known at this time is that the Vikings and Percy Harvin have parted company, for better or worse.