Receiver Percy Harvin remains a member of the Minnesota Vikings. And it remains to be seen whether he’ll be on the team come September.
At a time when the signs are pointing to a divorce, especially with quarterback Christian Ponder referring to Harvin in the past tense last month, G.M. Rick Spielman was less than unequivocal about Percy’s future in purple during an extended visit with Paul Allen and Paul Charchian of KFAN in Minneapolis.
“Percy is a very good football player,” Spielman said in explaining the decision to place Harvin on injured reserve in December due to a sprained ankle sustained several weeks earlier. “I think the issue was we weren’t seeing the progress we needed to see. And when we made that decision to put Percy on IR, it was for his benefit down the road. He’s still a young player, we felt we didn’t want to put him out there to further any damage or risk of him potentially having long-term issues with his ankle. So we did what was best for Percy Harvin at the time. I know Percy was very frustrated from the fact that his ankle wasn’t coming around as quickly as he had hoped. . . . It was a frustrating time just because of the injury, nothing else.”
When the questions became more pointed, Spielman became more than a little evasive.
““Percy Harvin is a member of this football team and he is a very good football player,” Spielman said. “We don’t like to get rid of good football players.”
“So you want him to be on the team next year?” asked Allen.
“We love Percy Harvin as a football player,” Spielman said. “Everybody sees what he does for our football team.”
“Does that say you do not love him in some other aspect?” Charchian astutely inquired.
Spielman laughed for a few seconds before eventually answering the question. Without really answering it. “Percy Harvin is a blue-chip football player,” Spielman said. “He is a game changer. In fact, he was on track to be a potential MVP.”
The challenge for Spielman is that, if the rumors of an incident with even-keeled coach Leslie Frazier are accurate and if reports that the team may try to trade Harvin are true, the Vikings can’t afford to create the perception that they’re ready to move on, if the Vikings hope to maximize the trade package.
In the end, there are two realistic options: The Vikings trade Harvin, or they give him a long-term deal and accept the fact that his talent typically will outweigh the reality that, from time to time, Percy can be a pain in the rump.