A flurry of factoids from Ed Werder, Adam Schefter, and Chris Mortensen at the top of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown regarding the sad state of affairs in Minnesota overlooked one key reality that has been lost in the shuffle ever since Randy Moss was abruptly dumped six days ago.
Per a league source, the Vikings organization feared that the presence of Randy Moss was making Percy Harvin into another Randy Moss.
The duo became inseparable not long after Moss arrived in October. “They were the new Batman and Robin,” the source said. “The new T.O. and Ochocinco.”
And so Harvin, who already was a bit of a primadonna, was becoming more and more like Moss.
Though other factors weighed into the decision (and even though many in the front office) didn’t want to dump Moss), Randy’s influence on Percy was a big part of the problem.
Indeed, look at what Harvin did on Friday. Yes, it’s fashionable to blame coach Brad Childress for everything bad that happens in Minnesota (and he arguably deserves every bit of it). But the reality as reported by Werder that Childress and Harvin nearly came to blows on Friday and the suggestion by Mort that Harvin told teammates it took all of his restraint to not punch Childress makes Harvin only a stone’s throw from being the NFL’s version of Latrell Sprewell.
So while Schefter detailed various other reasons why owner Zygi Wilf considered firing Childress (e.g., the handling of the question of whether Brett Favre would play last week and the decision to go for a touchdown and not a field goal late in the first half), Childress may have done the franchise a favor by getting Moss out of there before it was too late to keep Percy from becoming as insufferable as Randy.
Then again, to undo the damage that already has been done, Childress likely needs to go, too.
As to the notion that Childress’ 2009 contract extension has saved him, we think that in the end it won’t. It sounds as if Childress has done more than enough to justify a termination with cause, which would cut off his right to future payments. At this point, we’d be surprised if Wilf doesn’t take a page out of the Al Davis no-more-pay playbook.