Spielman tiptoes around the Percy Harvin problem


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.

42 responses to “Spielman tiptoes around the Percy Harvin problem

  1. In all honesty, has he really been that much of a pain in the rump? Seen a lot of players, on this team and others, that are a bigger headache yet they remain productive.

  2. I’d trade him for a lot of picks. And I wouldn’t settle for less than a number one. He’s 24 for Pete’s sake. Anyone saying his value is more of a 2nd rounder is someone I respectfully disagree with.

  3. He is not only a “pain,” he is not very perceptive either. How can he see Chad, TO et al, and the wrecks that are their lives and not go to school on them? All were riding along with nary a care in the world, playing the fool, not realizing that, like a new car, the value of NFL players depreciates RAPIDLY, and all the folks the divas have antagonized over the years are lurking in the bushes, awaiting the inevitable visit to these trouble makers from father time, or cousin injury so they can return the favors…AMAZING the hubris!!

  4. Apparently the Lions aren’t the only team in the North in need of leadership, at least on the offensive side.

    This guy is becoming a migraine for the Vikings.

  5. He is an enigma.

    Who knows what he will be like next year.

    Only a team who could make the trade and not really care if it worked out, need apply. (Niners, Seahawks, Pats)

    Teams that could really use him, need to be careful.

  6. Spielman is tiptoeing because
    On one hand he wants to keep the possibility open of a blockbuster trade if we could get whatever price they think is “worth” trading Harvin for.
    On the other hand, he doesn’t want to completely squash rumors because they still have to extend Harvin on a contract extension, and be able to say to the agent that they will still have the option to move omit hut Harvin if they try to ask for too much money.

  7. I heard the interview too, its on vikings.com. it sounds like everyone wants the headlines of trade rumors more so than actually providing substance because it didn’t sound to me like Spielman in any way had any intention of trading him. I sincerely doubt a trade will occur.

  8. Speilmans a smart guy he likes to let you guys in the media jump to conclusions. he knows how the nfl is nowadays and that his job is tied to ponder. why would they get rid of his best playmaker to throw to.

  9. Florio, I normally like your posts, but this is really a non-story. MN loves Percy, Vikings love Percy, we all know he is a small challenge as a personality, but we have finally have a solid ownership, front office, coaching staff and a solid team. We also know that every team has someone who is not totally bought in and puts himself before the team. However we finally have a strong locker room that can handle having a personality like Harvin’s. I think we should be applauded with how our franchise has finally become a normal well run franchise, as well as how we’ve handled the Harvin situation.

    In the past, a coach or executive would’ve called out Harvin or taken a hard line stance or swept this under the rug. Instead we are handling this like a professional franchise. We will do everything we can to reel Harvin in and so will his teammates.

    So Florio, please stop trying to drag us back in to doldrums of ‘take a knee Denny’, ‘love boat’, cheap owners who trade franchise players for 2nd round picks, a 10 man ownership group with no direction, ‘the randy ratio’, ‘walker trade’. etc.

    We’re not tiptoe-ing, we’re handling like a pro.

    Lastly, keep on keepin on Florio, but throw us a bone once-in-a-while.

  10. Its been pretty well documented that he doesn’t want to be there. Only option is to trade him with his value being high. New England, NY Jets, Miami are the best candidates for him. Jets should trade S. Holmes with a condition 3rd round pick that could be upgrade to a second or even a 1st round depending on certain parameters. Bad apple for Bad apple with a perk attached. Holmes is due 11 million with 7.5 guaranteed. From the Vikings perspective, you get a decent #1 wr to work with Ponder. if it doesn’t work out after a year you can cut him and still walk away with almost certainly a 2nd round pick with the jets not close to winning a super bowl.

  11. While I like what Percy brings to the table from the slot receiver position, I feel that Jarius Wright could fill that role nicely. Wright isn’t as explosive as Percy, but he flashed some serious skill down the stretch. The Vikes could vastly improve a team on the rise with the package of picks that they would get for Percy as well. Ponder has to play better though. 2013 is his make or break season. I’d love to see the Vikes draft a developmental QB in the middle rounds and sign a vet to sit behind Ponder for 2013 in case he falters. Spielman has proven he knows how to build a team. I like where this team is headed

  12. What a trainwreck of an NFL franchise. When you rewarded Favre for his diva behavior, did you really think Percy wouldn’t notice?

    You my sir are a moron!!!! In the NFL you do what you can to try and win and have to seize the moment.That is the reason Farve was over paid.Some times it works out and some times it doesn’t which doesn’t make the franchise a train wreck

  13. Holmes and a Third?? no way… Holmes has also had a history of being a cancer for a locker room… we are also trying to get younger,, holmes dose not fit that bill..

  14. This isn’t that hard to figure out. Percy Harvin wants to win a Superbowl and be the main man on offense. At the same time, he is not a complete idiot and can see what most football fans who do not wear purple colored glasses can see quite clearly, the Vikings are lacking a QB that can get them there.

    Then he looks across the locker room at Peterson and sees the best RB in the business wasting away the prime of his career playing for a second rate franchise. Now you can guess what the Vikings brainpower ( and I use that term loosely) might do or not do but its pretty easy to see that Percy Harvin himself is not coming back. So trade him or have him hold it, its up to the Vikings to choose.

  15. Easily worth a 1st he needs a big wideout on the outside so he can work his natural position slot/hb/wildcat/kr. He isn’t a no.1 wr but is he better than a rookie? Yes

  16. I hope I’m not right… But I could see him as a Patriot. The guy is very versatile and can not only catch and run well he’s a very good punt returner and you can hand him the ball. On top of that I think his value is only a 2nd and 3rd.. Not a first . As good as he is.. He’s injury prone.

  17. Vikings can just tag him and there’s nothing he can do but get another migraine. But, if they do decide to trade him, NOTHING less than a #1 & #2. Guy’s a freak on the field.

  18. I’ve never heard Rick Speilman give a straight answer to a question in an interview with the media. It doesn’t matter what player or the situation.

  19. Welker on his way out in N.E.
    Percy on his way out in Min.

    Looks like both teams are losing a quality slot WR and could use a new one to fill the hole. Hmm…what to do? It’s not a difficult move guys.

  20. Is anyone actually surprised by this ? It`s not so much Harvin in particular but the Vikings franchise itself. It`s the most inept franchise in all of sports. Their record on and off the field backs that up.

  21. admittedly percy is one of the most dominant players on the field when he is playing. i, however, would not be the least bit sad if the vikings traded him, as long as they got sufficient value. they have coddled this kid from the beginning; through his pot smoking, his migraines, injuries and blowups. not only has the organization stuck up for percy every step of the way but they have gone completely out of their way to make him happy. why? because the kid is a baller.
    what do the vikings get in return? bitching, trade demands, beratement of our QB (who admittedly is not good) and our coach on live television. i am sick of percy and have never been a fan, even though his talent is unquestionable. like i said, IF the vikings can get significant value for him i would be happy to see him walking out the doors of winter park.

  22. Honestly Spielman is trying to get trade rumors spread in the media. That way, he can have teams contact him and see what they’ll offer. Spielman is not in any way forced into trading here. I think the problem is that Percy Harvin wants a big contract, and frankly, he hasn’t been enough of a leader and consistent player to earn that, yet. I’m guessing unless a team offers him a blockbuster deal for Percy, he’ll hold onto him, and see what Percy does this offseason. I think Spielman is also sending a message to Percy, saying he’s not going to give him his contract if he doesn’t earn it. If Percy works hard in the offseason, shows up to camp, and plays hard for the first month, that’s when he’ll get his extension. If not, Spielman can worry about that in August. Spielman can always franchise tag Percy, too. Guaranteed he can have him for 2 years if he acts like a dink. I’m guessing the ball is in Percy’s court. Which is why Leslie said “Hopefully it works out”, and Spielman said, “We don’t want to get rid of him”, at the same time of not committing to him.

  23. whatjusthapped February 10, 2013, 6:13 PM EST

    This isn’t that hard to figure out. Percy Harvin wants to win a Superbowl and be the main man on offense. At the same time, he is not a complete idiot and can see what most football fans who do not wear purple colored glasses can see quite clearly, the Vikings are lacking a QB that can get them there.

    If Harvin is having aspersions of winning a Super Bowl and Minnesota not having a QB that could get them to the promised land? I just picked this quote as a random quote, not as a rip on the original writer, but trading Harvin to the Jets for S. Holmes and draft picks, IMHO, would be more of 20 steps back for Harvin the player. not any kind of forward progress towards reaching his ultimate goal of winning the big game.

  24. Of course Spielman isn’t going to say anything that would compromise his trade value. We’ll see how this plays out on draft weekend…

  25. He is as good as gone. I can’t believe anyone (even vikings fans) thinks Harvin is worth a number one round pick with all of his baggage.

  26. Percy was a 1st rd pick …and still on his rookie contract , hasn’t been injured much this year was the most he’s missed …and is now a proven player WR,RB,KR there’s NO WAY!!..NO WAY!! He goes for less then 1st rd pick

  27. I’d say send him to Green Bay, but the Packers already have a better player (without the drama) in Randall Cobb.

  28. Hopefully, either Harvin is signed to a long-term deal before the draft, OR he is traded. The guy is too good to let get away via free agency next year, while the team gets nothing in return.

    Harvin may be a pain in the rump, but he’s also always ready to play on gameday. You don’t give up a talent like Harvin without getting someone comparable in return.

  29. As a Vikings fan, I find this whole situation very, very frustrating.

    Harvin is a great player and it’s obvious (to me) that he’s not been happy with Ponder at QB— And it’s been rumored that Percy’s “blow-ups” with the staff have been because of the QB.

    Frankly, I’m on Percy’s side in all of this! The organization needs to get better at the QB position because Ponder has shown extremely little (especially from a #12 overall pick).

    Maybe there’s more?.. Part of me wonders whether this has become “personal” between a coach (Frazier or someone else?..) And if it’s gotten to that point, then Harvin is 75% out the door.

    And if any team wants to deal for Harvin (a true dynamic playmaker), then there has to be significant compensation… The Vikings have plenty of leverage and I’m confident there will be a team willing to overspend a bit for his talent…

    I’m looking at YOU, St. Louis… You need a target like Percy for Bradford to get to that next level… and you have plenty of extra picks.

  30. Percy Harvin for Alex Smith straight up. We then have a experienced and ACCURATE QB who had the highest passer rating in the league before sustaining a concussion. Draft a wide receiver and we a a much better football team in 2013.

  31. Get to the point Spielman! You are making your player & fans upset. Come out and say weather or not you plan to keep him, it’s that simple.

    This will just cause bigger issues.

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