Vikings figure to look different at receiver

Eric Edholm
December 19, 2012
Vikings trade Harvin to Seahawks

There has been a lot of talk about QB Christian Ponder struggling or at least not fulfilling his potential, and it’s clear the coaching staff is doing its best to raise his confidence, play to his strengths and get the most out of him while RB Adrian Peterson is the clear meal ticket.

But we hear that receiver is going to be a position that looks wholly different next season — with the status of Percy Harvin remaining quite unknown. It turns out that Harvin needed an emergency appendectomy and it was that, not his injured ankle, that landed him on I.R., which required surgery last week.

Still, there are concerns about Harvin’s commitment to the team, questions about his focus and the relationship with the coaching staff and whether all his talent is worth the problems that come with him. Harvin is a free agent after the 2013 season and it might be best for the team at least to explore trade options this offseason to see what it could get for him. However, he’s by far the Vikings' best wideout right now.

Could frustrated Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, a Minnesota native, be on their radar? Of course, he would be, but it likely would be very tough to pry him away.

Jerome Simpson has been a bust so far and talks too much for the team’s liking. He has suffered drops, run incorrect or poor routes and has not been the explosive deep threat the staff had hoped. He’s on a one-year deal and might not return. Michael Jenkins plays far too many snaps for his talent. He just has no explosiveness whatsoever. Same with Devin Aromashodu, who appears to have maxed out at barely above serviceable level.

Jarius Wright has promise but remains raw and somewhat unreliable. Greg Childs has spent his entire rookie season on I.R. and will be in the picture next season, but how much can the Vikings expect from him? Stephen Burton has flashed a bit here and there, but he, too, is mostly an unknown and perhaps no more ever than a No. 4 receiver and special-teamer.

Expect this position to have a major overhaul in the offseason, with or without Harvin in the picture.