August 22, 2017

Vikings preseason game 2 good and bad performances

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

I was all set to watch last Friday’s preseason game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks, only to discover that my local cable provider had, at some point since last season, changed out the NFL Network channel for something like “Memories of NFL Network” instead. Where the real NFL Network channel was showing the Seahawks and Vikings, my local “equivalent” was showing endless episodes of something like “A Football Life”. I’d tell you more, but I turned it off quite quickly.

This is why, among other reasons, I didn’t do any kind of post about the game over the weekend. To make up for that, I’ll just roundup the winners and losers in the race for the 53-man roster from game in Seattle.


December 16, 2016

Fixing the NFL’s Thursday Night Football problem

Filed under: Football, Media — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

At 1500ESPN, Matthew Coller suggests a (pretty obvious) solution to the NFL’s ongoing problem with Thursday Night Football:

On Nov. 20, the Minnesota Vikings had the type of game that turns a season around: A 30-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals at US Bank Stadium. On Nov. 24, they were on the road playing on national TV against the Detroit Lions. The Vikings lost a hideous, good-thing-you-didn’t-pay-to-watch-that-one game in the Motor City by three points. The game essentially cost them a shot at winning the NFC Central.

It’s hard to take that result seriously.

There are several lenses in which we can look through when discussing the misguided way the league has implemented Thursday games. The first is player safety. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman recently attacked the hypocrisy of the league claiming the game is safer, then pushing players back on the field without proper time to heal.

He wrote on the Player’s Tribune:

    I just don’t understand why the NFL says it’s taking a stand on player safety, then increases the risks its players face by making them play on Thursday, before their bodies are ready.

    My Seahawks teammates and I are playing in one of the last Thursday night games of the season this week, so we’re one of the last teams to be exploited in 2016. One of the last to be taken advantage of. One of the last to get the middle finger from the NFL.

    But as long as the NFL is using that same finger to count Thursday Night Football dollars, I don’t think it really cares.

The solution seems so easy. Why can’t TNF begin in Week 5 and have the schedule set up to give the two teams the previous week off? Bye week. Thursday night. Then 10 day break until the next game.

That scheduling tweak would almost certainly make a huge difference for the individual teams assigned to the TNF slot: it’s like a mini-bye-week.

August 19, 2016

Vikings beat Seahawks 18-11 in second preseason game, without Teddy Bridgewater

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 09:41

Perhaps the oddest thing about watching last night’s Vikings-Seahawks matchup was seeing Shaun Hill take the start instead of Teddy Bridgewater. Teddy wasn’t hurt, but head coach Mike Zimmer “explained” it as being his decision not to play Teddy. No additional information was provided. Quite odd, but it did show what the backup and third string quarterbacks could do in real game situations. At 1500ESPN, Judd Zulgad describes the press conference exchange after the game:

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer surprised everyone on Thursday night by not starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and instead giving the assignment to veteran Shaun Hill.

Asked why Bridgewater did not start in the Vikings’ 18-11 preseason victory in Seattle, Zimmer said, “because I sat him.” Asked why he made the move, Zimmer responded, “because I wanted to.”

While Zimmer would not go into any detail, he did make it clear the move wasn’t for disciplinary reasons. “Teddy Bridgewater’s the nicest kid in the world,” Zimmer said, “there’s no disciplinary action ever with Teddy so it had nothing to do with discipline, it had to do with my decision.”

Zimmer became annoyed with follow up questions during his press conference. “It was my decision,” he said. “How many times are we going to go through this? It was my decision. Good enough?”


January 11, 2016

Vikings lose wildcard game to Seattle 10-9 on failed field goal attempt

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

It certainly wasn’t a pretty game to watch, and given the extremely low temperature at kickoff (tied for the third coldest playoff game in NFL history), nobody was expecting a high-scoring extravaganza. The game turned on two plays: a bad snap to Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson that he somehow turned into a big gain and a missed field goal by Blair Walsh that ended the Vikings’ hopes. 1500ESPN‘s Andrew Krammer:

They made the gap feel closer than 27 yards.

This wasn’t like any of the Vikings’ other five losses in the second season under Mike Zimmer. The same team that was thoroughly handled by San Francisco, Green Bay and Seattle proved to be the better defensive team in Sunday’s 10-9 loss and first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Seahawks. They were the better offensive unit up until kicker Blair Walsh missed a chip shot, shorter than an extra point, into the open, windy end of TCF Bank Stadium.

They showed signs of a potential NFC force turning the corner, giving traction last week to their shock-the-world mission by walking out of Lambeau Field with a division title. The first 59 minutes and 34 seconds through Sunday’s bone-chilling game put the odds in the Vikings’ favor — Walsh was 30-of-31 in his career from inside 29 yards.

But their shot at dethroning the reigning conference champions ended at Seattle’s 9-yard line, where Walsh pushed a 27-yard attempt wide left.


Though it was more than a missed kick that ended the Vikings’ season.

A botched fourth-quarter snap gave life to the Seahawks. Wilson chased the snap 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage, recovered and evaded a duo of Vikings’ blitzers in cornerback Captain Munnelryn and linebacker Eric Kendricks. Wilson scrambled right, and the coverage followed. That left receiver Jermaine Kearse wide open in the middle of the field. Kearse outran cornerback Xavier Rhodes and picked up 35 yards to the Vikings’ 4.

“Honestly, I thought the ball still was on the ground,” Munnerlyn said of Wilson’s recovery. “He had a knee down and I’m like, ‘Man, is he going to get up and run with it?’ He picked it up and [spun] out and found the open guy. At that point, I wish I could take that play back and go up field…I didn’t know where nobody was. I was just trying to make a play and that’s one play I regret.


December 7, 2015

Vikings lose at home to Seahawks, 38-7 in blowout

Fortunately for me, I was unavoidably busy on Sunday afternoon and missed what sounds like the worst game Minnesota has played in the last two years. If there were any bandwagon fans left after the loss to Green Bay, they’re probably all gone now. The bad news started long before kickoff, as nose tackle Linval Joseph was listed on the injury report all week and then downgraded on Friday, so he and starting strong safety Andrew Sendejo were both out. Middle linebacker Anthony Barr and free safety Harrison Smith both started the game, but were standing on the sideline not long after the game started. Without Barr, Joseph, and Smith, the Vikings defence was a hollow shell, and Seattle took full advantage of the weakness. Usually, after a game I didn’t get to watch, I’ll read through the hundreds of Twitter posts in my Vikings list. Today, after looking at a couple of dozen of the most recent ones, I decided that I should just give the rest of them a miss:


February 5, 2015

How not to do media relations, NFL style

Filed under: Business, Football, Media — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Unusually, in one of his last Tuesday Morning Quarterback columns of the season, Gregg Easterbrook actually talked more about football than usual:

In the run up to the Super Bowl, Marshawn Lynch received a huge amount of attention for insisting he just wanted to be left alone. If he’d actually just wanted to be left alone, he would have gone to the podium, offered a few sports platitudes — “the Patriots are a fine, fine football team” — and everyone would have left him alone. By making a great show of appearing in very dark glasses and ignoring questions, Lynch drew attention to himself. Which, one presumes, was what he wanted all along.

Many pro athletes don’t like having to face the media; Bill Belichick* doesn’t like to, Roger Goodell doesn’t like to. Their contracts require them to, because professional sports fundamentally are a form of entertainment, and fans find the media conferences entertaining. (Lord knows why.) Many players came from high school and college environments where the local sports media consisted mainly of homers: scandals were downplayed, the toughest question was, “How do you explain your brilliant success?” At the NFL level, players can be surprised to encounter sharp questions and hostile tones.

Not, certainly, because NFL games are more important than prep or college contests — NFL games are strictly entertainment, the outcomes are irrelevant to society. It’s just that at the NFL level, the sports reporters are at the top of their profession, too. They ask tough questions. Most players and coaches learn it’s the path of least resistance to play along, even when the questions veer into the absurd. Smart players and coaches discover that beginning a media conference by bantering with reporters about their careers rapidly turns them from attack dogs to lap dogs.

Then there are the players who would radiate hostility toward the sports media, such as Lynch. In 2009, he was suspended by the league for three games. Lynch seemed to expect sports reporters would act like team publicists and change the subject; instead he got abrasive questions. Since then, including last week at Super Bowl media events, he has accused the sports media of printing lies about him: “You all can go make up whatever you’re going to make up.” I’d venture a guess Lynch actually does not know what the sports media is saying about him because he doesn’t read the newspaper. He may prefer to believe himself the victim of some vast sports-media conspiracy.

The odd thing is that Lynch has a sense of humor, as he displayed in his Skittles parody. If he’d only show that humor at a media conference, the ice would melt. Instead he says things like this from last week, when he was supposed to take questions: “I come to you all’s event, you shove cameras and microphones down my throat. I ain’t got nothing for you all.” Reporters and spectators don’t get angry at Lynch when he expects them to attend games: for him to get angry when he’s expected to fulfill a contractual obligation involving cameras and microphones shows bad manners. At media conferences Lynch acts like a spoiled brat, which reflects poorly on him and his team.

When Thurman Thomas couldn’t find his helmet at a Super Bowl, then the Bills lost, for a while he was angry at the media because reporters kept bringing this up. One day he walked into a media conference with a basket of miniature helmets that he handed out to reporters, and told a couple jokes about himself. For the rest of his career, Thomas had the sports media eating out of his hand: When it was time to cast Hall of Fame votes, Thomas got a landslide of votes. Somebody in the Seahawks’ organization should tell this story to Lynch.

January 15, 2015

Reasons to hate every surviving team in the playoffs

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 07:31

At Football Savages, “Draw Play” Dave Rappoccio explains why it’s okay to hate all of the NFL teams left in the hunt for this year’s Lombardi trophy:

So only 4 teams are left in this year’s quest for the Lombardi trophy. The Seahawks of Seattle, the Colts of Indianapolis, the Packers of Green Bay, and the Patriots of Boston New England. I hate all of them. I wish for fire and brimstone and chaos in this final 4. I want the winners to limp into the final confrontation in Arizona and die on the field halfway through the first quarter. I hate them. Here’s why I think you should hate them too:

Colts – 2 Super Bowl Championships
Packers – 4 Super Bowl Championships
Patriots- 3 Super Bow Championships
Seahawks- 1 Super Bowl Championship, but it was won just last year

All 4 teams have been to the Super Bowl since the turn of the century. Outside the Packers, all have been there multiple times, and the Packers still won their appearance. The Patriots have the longest Super Bowl win drought, at a measly 10 years, and they’ve been twice since ’04. There is no underdog this season. There is no plucky team that could. There are only spoiled rich kids. The kids in your school who would get the new video games as they came out. The kids who would get dropped off in BMWs. The kids who had pools and pool parties and never invited you. The kids who would get A’s for participation because social interactions are easy when you are the kid everyone adores. Meanwhile the Detroit Lions sit in the back corner of the classroom and have a reputation as the smelly kid.

But championships aren’t the only reason to hate a team. Lots of teams have won championships, many of them multiple championships. But those teams aren’t here. The Steelers are sad and old. The 49ers are literally on fire. The Broncos have been taken behind the shed and Old Yeller’d. The Giants are sitting in the basement eating glue. The Cowboys are running around the lawn with no clothes on covered in filthy mud screaming obscenities. No, we need more to hate these 4 rich kids. We need to add real depth to our hate. So lets go over this, team by team.

October 18, 2014

Percy Harvin traded … again

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 10:18

Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin was apparently unhappy in his new home of Seattle, so Seattle traded him to the New York Jets, along with his pricey contract. This isn’t the first time Harvin’s been unhappy enough to force his team to trade him: that’s the blueprint of how he left the Vikings. Harvin is a very talented receiver — when healthy — but he seems to be unable to get along with authority figures like head coaches. Even head coaches who are widely known to be easy to get along with, like Leslie Frazier and Pete Carroll. Harvin reportedly threw a weight at one of the assistant coaches early in his career with the Vikings, and gave Golden Tate a black eye during Superbowl week with Seattle. One wonders what he’ll manage to do to destroy the chemistry (such as it is) with his latest team.

At the Daily Norseman, Ted Glover reviews the [head]case:

To say this came as a surprise is an understatement, and it makes me wonder that if Harvin can’t play for two of the most player friendly coaches in the NFL in Leslie Frazier and Pete Carroll … how will he be able to fit in with Rex Ryan? And if Harvin wasn’t happy in Seattle, where he won a Super Bowl and has one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL throwing to him…how in the blue hell (as Fearless Leader would say) will he get along with Geno Smith and the talent wasteland that is the New York Jets offense? Yeah, Geno is an upgrade over Christian Ponder from his Minnesota days … but the Jets have literally nothing else in terms of offensive weapons, and a pretty bad offensive line.

And Geno’s not all that much better than Ponder, so yeah. I just see this as another train wreck already in the making, but who knows, stranger things have happened.

So with Harvin now on the Jets, let’s take on final look back on the trade that got this all started. In March of 2013, the Vikings sent the disgruntled but ridiculously talented Harvin to Seattle. In return the Vikings received Seattle’s first and seventh round pick in the 2013 draft, and their third round pick in the 2014 draft.

Arif Hasan at Vikings Territory:

The Seahawks evidently wanted to make this trade for a while. One interesting thing about the trade: Seattle will eat a significant amount of cap space from a trade, perhaps up to $9.6 million in accelerated cap (the combined cost of the future impact of the prorated salary bonus he received).

In all honesty, I can’t really say with confidence what the biggest reason for the Harvin trade was, though I have to imagine it’s more attitude than talent. Pete Carroll was enamored with Percy Harvin coming out of Virginia back when Carroll was at USC. The talent Percy had that made him a first-round draft pick and an early MVP candidate in 2012 is still all there.

But it’s not inconceivable that it’s for football-only reasons—he took up $13.4 million of cap space on a young team looking to sign new contracts, and was going to take up $12.9M and $12.3M in the following years. While he was taking all that cap space, he grabbed 133 receiving yards and 92 rushing yards for 45 yards from scrimmage a game. There are about 66 players with more, including Jerick McKinnon and Cordarrelle Patterson—both acquisitions made as a result of the trade the Minnesota Vikings made with Percy Harvin (McKinnon with a pick received directly from the trade and Patterson as a replacement).

November 18, 2013

Vikings crushed by “Vikings West”

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 09:07

It actually looked like a competitive game for most of the first half, as the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings traded scores, but a 58-yard return by Percy Harvin helped put the Seahawks in the driver’s seat just before halftime with a 24-13 score, and the Vikings had no answers after that. There are a lot of former Vikings on the Seahawks roster, starting with their head coach and offensive co-ordinator, both of whom were coaches for Minnesota earlier in their careers. Pete Carroll served under both Bud Grant and Jerry Burns as an assistant, while Darrell Bevell was the offensive co-ordinator for Brad Childress. Former Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice was sidelined with an injury (the story of Rice’s NFL career), but fellow alumni Percy Harvin put on a very good performance against his former team, and former Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson came in to finish the fourth quarter after the game was out of reach. On the other side of the field, former Seahawk John Carlson was one of the few Vikings to have a good game against his former team.

ESPN‘s Ben Goessling explains why many of us are expecting Josh Freeman to get his second start as a Viking next week against the Green Bay Packers:

Stock watch: Falling: Ponder. The quarterback’s second half was among the ugliest he’s had in 2 1/2 professional seasons; he hit just four of nine passes for 15 yards and threw two interceptions. He had another pass that could have been intercepted for a touchdown. Ponder hit seven of seven throws in the second quarter, and finished the first half 9-of-13 for 114 yards and a touchdown, though he did fumble deep in Vikings territory. But as he’s done so many times in Minnesota, he proved unable to put two consistent halves together, and was pulled for Matt Cassel with just more than 12 minutes left in the game. Coach Leslie Frazier could take most of the week, once again, to decide on a starting quarterback, but if the Vikings aren’t going to use Freeman now, it’s worth asking if they ever will.

Dan Zinski of The Viking Age chimes in on the Ponder situation:

Seattle’s defense set the tone in the second half, picking off Christian Ponder twice, and returning one of those picks for a TD. Ponder played reasonably well in the first half, but whatever tweaks the Seahawks introduced in the third quarter utterly bewildered the Vikings QB. His interceptions were not rushed throws or bad footwork throws or anything that could be chalked up to poor pass protection or receivers running bad routes or any of the rest of it. No excuses for Ponder: he made two of the worst throws you will ever see from a third-year quarterback.

Leslie Frazier decided after the pick-six that he had seen enough and yanked Ponder. But by that point it was too late for backup Matt Cassel to get anything going anyway. Seattle didn’t even need much from their offense in the second half. Russell Wilson did all the damage he needed to in the first half. With Ponder throwing the ball around like a fool, Seattle’s D was able to put the game away without any difficulty.

John Holler makes the same point about quarterbacking for Viking Update:

Christian Ponder’s inconsistency was encapsulated against the Seahawks: promising first half, brutal second half. By now, the Vikings should have seen enough to know what they have in Ponder and make a change to evaluate the next possibility.

What Vikings fans saw Sunday from quarterback Christian Ponder is nothing unusual. His three-year NFL career has been defined more by his failures than his achievements and Sunday was no exception. The difference this time is that it just might be his last disappointing game as the Vikings’ starting quarterback.

Head coach Leslie Frazier said team officials will talk about a quarterback change Monday, but Ponder continued with some of the trends that have made him a human piñata among Vikings fans. He completed 13 of 22 passes to his offensive teammates and two passes to Seattle defenders, one that was brought back for a touchdown. On his first dropback of the game, he was hit from behind and fumbled, leading to the game’s first three points. His three turnovers accounted for 17 Seattle points and turned a close game into a blowout.

This hasn’t been anything unusual for Ponder this season. He has at least one interception in seven of the eight games he has played, and almost invariably his turnovers directly lead to points.

What made Sunday’s game so painful for Ponder apologists is that, aside from the blindside fumble in the first quarter, he was having a decent game. At halftime, he had completed nine of 13 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown – giving him a passer rating of 122.0.

I liked Christian Ponder when the Vikings drafted him, and I wanted him to get the opportunity to show what he could do, but after two-and-a-half seasons, I think we now know what Ponder can do. He may still be able to improve as a passer, but I think it’ll be for another team. The Vikings will almost certainly be drafting a quarterback in the first round of the 2014 draft, and if the team keeps Ponder for the final season of his contract, he’ll just be holding the spot until the rookie is able to take over.

July 31, 2013

Vikings training camp in full swing … and evil genius Rick Spielman is proven right again

Filed under: Football, Media — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 08:58

The Vikings are at their off-site training camp in Mankato this week, and the various fan blogs are doing a great job of covering the event (especially The Daily Norseman which has bloggers accredited and attending all open sessions). 1500ESPN has filled the void left when the great Tom Pelissero moved on to USA Today‘s sports department with Andrew Krammer (to team up with Judd Zulgad), while the main ESPN coverage is by Kevin Seifert. I hit my “maximum number of articles viewed” limit at the Minneapolis Star Tribune earlier this week, so the coverage from the St. Paul Pioneer Press is filling that gap for me until rollover.

I know most of you don’t much care for sports chatter, so I’ll put the rest of this post behind the curtain…


April 13, 2013

Antoine Winfield signs with the Seattle Seahawks, official day of mourning declared by Vikings fans

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 10:52

Okay, I’m exaggerating the impact a bit in the headline, as it was highly unlikely that the Vikings would be able to re-sign Winfield after their abrupt decision to cut him in order to make room under the salary cap to re-sign Phil Loadholt. However, it is true that he was one of the faces of the franchise and will definitely be missed now that he’s going to be playing for the “Vikings West”:

It wasn’t exactly protracted as these things go. Just a little two-day mini-drama. And it ended just the way most of us expected. Antoine Winfield ultimately chose Seattle over Minnesota. The Seahawks picked up the former Viking cornerback on a one-year, $3 million contract with $1 million guaranteed. Three million for one year is not a bad score for a 36-year-old defensive back coming off an injury. Good job for Antoine.

We could now sit here dissecting the way this played out and asking lots of questions. Did Rick Spielman’s alleged snubbing of Winfield play into the decision? Were the Vikings ever really players for Winfield after the way he was apparently dissed? The Vikings were reportedly still in on it in the last hours but who knows if they really were. Who knows if Winfield was just trying to get more money out of Seattle by acting like the Vikes still had a shot.

There’s a lot we’ll never know about how this played out. But here’s something we do know. Veteran players on the Vikings are not happy. Several older players expressed their wish to have Winfield come back. How do they feel now that another major piece of the 2012 surprise playoff run team has been let go for money reasons? They certainly appreciate the realities of the salary cap. But they also know that Rick Spielman has been on a frugality kick and there are probably some other guys who are wondering if they will be next to either get cut or be asked to re-negotiate.

The economics of the situation made the release of one of the older, highly paid veterans likely when free agency opened. Many were expecting the victim to be defensive tackle Kevin Williams (who had already indicated he’d be open to renegotiating his contract), or even getting defensive end Jared Allen to sign a new longer-term contract, but it was the way Winfield was treated that shocked most fans. Many of us were hoping that he could somehow be brought back on a cap-friendly deal and finish his career as a Viking, but we all knew that was unlikely after he was released in such a cavalier manner.

March 12, 2013

Reactions to the Percy Harvin trade

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 08:31

As reported yesterday, the Minnesota Vikings struck a trade agreement with the Seattle Seahawks, sending disgruntled wide receiver Percy Harvin and getting three draft picks in return (Seattle’s first and seventh round picks this year and their third round pick in 2014). Under the circumstances, the Vikings got a very generous deal for the extremely talented player. Just a few weeks ago, the guessing among NFL writers seemed to be that Minnesota might be lucky to get just a third-round pick in exchange for Harvin’s services.

1500ESPN‘s Tom Pelissero:

One veteran starter told 1500ESPN.com on Monday the trade ” is genius.” Another said he’s happy for Harvin but Spielman did “a great job” getting so much value for a player much of the league thought the Vikings were desperate to dump.

Harvin had demanded trades. He had clashed with coaches. He had complained about the offense and the quarterback. He once stormed out over a disagreement about medication.

He was, and is, one of the NFL’s most dynamic players for 3 hours after Sunday. It’s the other 165 hours a week the Vikings had begun to fear having a basket case on their hands.

Dressing down mild-mannered coach Leslie Frazier on the sideline in Seattle and again at the team facility weeks later was just the most overt signal Harvin had worn out his welcome and probably wanted out anyway.

Leslie Frazier is reportedly the most even-tempered coach in the NFL: if you can’t get along with Frazier, you probably can’t get along with anyone. Harvin has had arguments and confrontations with his coaches at college and in the NFL, so it will be interesting to see how long he can go in Seattle before the cameras catch him on the sideline giving a coach a dressing-down (or chucking weights at him).

All that, and Spielman still found — or perhaps created — a marketplace and yielded a better return than most around the NFL expected.

“Vikes got very good return for (a) player with no future there,” one NFL personnel man said.


March 10, 2013

Rumour: Percy Harvin is demanding a trade (again)

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 10:42

There’s no such thing as an off-season in the NFL, even if they still use the term. There’s a brief downtime between the end of the SuperBowl and the start of free agency, but that’s about it. In the case of the Minnesota Vikings, the big drama so far this year is around Percy Harvin:

The Percy Harvin saga continues with another report of his discontent. Nothing has really changed, however, as Harvin’s status has been precarious for quite some time.

A local Twin Cities media columnist, Sid Hartman, is reporting the Vikings are planning to cut ties with Percy Harvin. The short and the long of it is that Harvin wants to be traded and doesn’t want to remain with the Vikings.

Before your Harvin jerseys become de facto lighter fluid to get a bonfire flame kicking up, let’s climb in the Wayback Machine and go where people implore, “Never mind the man behind the curtain.”

[. . .]

The source of this “breaking news” is an anomaly unto itself in that it could have legitimately been intentionally “leaked” by either side. If the leak came from the Harvin side, it’s directed at the bottom half of the first round – teams convinced they’re “one player” away from being a Super Bowl team. If the “leak” came from the Vikings, it’s putting those in the Sweet 16 on notice – Percy comes with a price.

The future of the Vikings and Harvin is no different today than it was Friday – before the window for free agent chatter was opened or not. Harvin is available for the taking. Still. Again. But now it’s only for the right price – whether a mutually leaked story has surfaced or not. Serious bidders only.

Does Percy stay? Does Percy go? Nothing has changed. It has only served to put 31 teams on notice … as if that hadn’t already been going on.

Update, March 11: The Star Tribune is reporting that Harvin has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks:

Percy Harvin’s time as a Viking has come to end. According to an NFL source, the Vikings have agreed in principle to a trade with Seattle, formally ending a rocky relationship with their ultra-talented yet mercurial receiver.

The NFL’s free agency period will open at 3 p.m. Tuesday, which is also the opening of the new league year. That’s the earliest a trade could be rubber-stamped and completed. But as of right now, the deal has been finalized and Harvin will simply have to pass a team physical in Seattle.

[. . .]

If the trade to Seattle doesn’t hit any unforeseen snags and is indeed finalized, Harvin would reunite with Darrell Bevell, the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator who held the same position with the Vikings during Harvin’s first two seasons. Harvin would also join forced with Pete Carroll, who in his previous post at the University of Southern Cal, had recruited Harvin out of Landstown High School in Virginia.

If this is confirmed (as it appears likely to be), I’ll be sorry to see Percy leave, but it might be the best of a bad situation for both the team and the player. Harvin is a great talent, but the long list of troubling signs indicated he wasn’t happy as a Viking. If he prefers playing in Seattle (where several Vikings receivers have gone in recent years: Nate Burleson and Sidney Rice also became Seahawks), I hope he does well. If the Vikings get good value for the trade — talk right now says they get Seattle’s first round pick (at #25), a 7th rounder, and a mid-round pick in 2014 — then I’m happy. (Just a few weeks back, the wiser heads “in the know” were talking about Harvin only being worth a second- or even a third-round pick.)

November 5, 2012

Vikings lose in Seattle, 30-20

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 09:40

The Vikings went in to Seattle as underdogs, and the odds-makers were actually a bit kinder to the team than the final score. Adrian Peterson had another great outing (182 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns), but there was no passing game to speak of (Ponder was 11 of 22 for only 63 yards and 1 INT). Perhaps fortunately, I didn’t get to watch this game, as it wasn’t carried on regular channels in the Toronto area.

August 21, 2011

Vikings 20, Seahawks 7 in second preseason game

A much better game for the Vikings than last week, although the score somewhat flatters them. I think the game did provide lots of justification for not re-signing Tarvaris Jackson, who had a less-than-stellar game against his former team.

The Vikings had a long list of players who were inactive for this game, including Percy Harvin, Greg Camarillo, Anthony Herrera, and Visanthe Shiancoe. This provided some opportunities for less experienced players to get extended playing time and — in a few cases — give the coaches reasons to keep them on the roster after mandatory cut-downs.

Cedric Griffin started the game (although he was only on the field for part of the first quarter) and showed that he can still play at a high level. He may be the first pro football player ever to make a recovery from torn ACL injuries in both legs. He got involved in the very first play, breaking up a pass intended for Golden Tate.

Jared Allen had a great opportunity to sack Jackson during the first Seattle series, but somehow couldn’t wrap him up. A rare miss for Allen. The Vikings’ first team defence was getting very good penetration all through the first half, forcing Jackson to dodge and run more than Seattle’s game plan probably called for. He was elusive enough to avoid most of the pressure, however.

The Vikings’ first offensive series was brief, but eventful: Charlie Johnson let Seattle’s Raheem Brock get a clear run at Donovan McNabb’s blind side for a sack. The tight end on that side went immediately into a receiving pattern, and nobody touched Brock. Suddenly the left tackle position is up for grabs again. Jeremy Fowler reported on his Twitter feed: “LT Charlie Johnson on early sack on McNabb: ‘Yeah, I messed up. I own up to it. I went the wrong way'”. Minnesota only managed three offensive plays in the first quarter.

Marcus Sherels had a bad time on a punt return, fumbling the ball and giving Seattle another set of downs. He then more than made up for the error four plays later by catching a deflected pass from Jackson to Tate, and running it 64 yards for the first touchdown of the night.

The Vikings had a nice goal-line stand, keeping Seattle from scoring on four attempts from the 2-yard line. McNabb then led the attack on a nice drive, going 6 of 8 for 81 yards, but couldn’t get into the end zone, so Longwell kicked the field goal to make the score 10-0.

Christian Ponder took over after the next series, completing 4 of 9 attempts for 31 yards (plus some help on penalties) leading to another Longwell field goal.

Seattle finally got on the board early in the second half, with an Anthony McCoy touchdown after a bad snap — the second game that the Vikings’ opponent has scored on a bad snap. I somehow doubt that teams will add it to their playbooks, however.

Joe Webb took over from Ponder early in the fourth quarter, with the score at 13-7. Seattle saved a sure touchdown by Manny Arceneaux by punching the ball out just before Arceneaux could cross the goal line: the ball rolled out the back of the end zone for a touchback. Arceneaux was a stand-out wide receiver for the BC Lions, but is considered a rookie in the NFL. This is a rookie mistake that could keep him from making the team.

Another unknown hoping to make the final roster, Tristan Davis, scored a late touchdown on a nice 35-yard run to put the game out of reach for Seattle.

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