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Sunday, November 17, 2013
Harvin's words lend clarity to Vikings split

By Ben Goessling

SEATTLE -- Percy Harvin continues to say everything is copacetic with the Minnesota Vikings after the team traded him to the Seattle Seahawks in March. Now that he's got a new contract with a 10-1 team, he has no reason to say otherwise. But as usual with Harvin, there was more to read into what he didn't say after the Seahawks' 41-20 win on Sunday -- or specifically, the names he didn't mention when he rattled off a long list of Vikings people he talked with before the game.

We'll let Harvin speak.

Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson
Percy Harvin says he's still close to some of his former teammates -- including running back Adrian Peterson.
"I talked to all the guys," he said. "(Safety Jamarca) Sanford, he's one of my closest friends over there. (Linebacker Erin) Henderson, I was close to him. Of course, A.P. (Adrian Peterson). I talked to Jared Allen. I made sure I talked to all of the training staff. I talked to most of the managers. I tried to talk to everybody that I could. It was all good. There's no love lost with them, so it was all good."

And later, he said, "I have a lot of long relationships with the guys over there. We still text all the time. A lot of the staff over there, they still text me. I still have a great relationship with a lot of those guys over there. A.P., he helped me through a lot of situations. His fiancee and my girl are very close friends, so it's constant talking to those guys. The media blew it all of proportion with the whole Minnesota things. I still have love for those guys, and apparently they have love for me. It's all good."

Notice any names he didn't mention? We'll give you a minute ...

If you came up with quarterback Christian Ponder and coach Leslie Frazier, you're right. You're also not among the first to ascertain there might have been a rift between Harvin, his coach and his quarterback in Minnesota.

The last time Harvin was on a football field, he could be seen screaming at Frazier on the visitor's sideline at CenturyLink Field. He reportedly had another confrontation with the coach before the Vikings put him on injured reserve with a sprained ankle last December, and several reports said Harvin's low opinion of Ponder was one of the reasons the Vikings traded him to Seattle last March. In his introductory news conference with the Seahawks, Harvin complimented Brett Favre and Russell Wilson, making no mention of Ponder.

And on Sunday, when he was asked about the differences between the Seahawks' scheme (run by Darrell Bevell, his first offensive coordinator in Minnesota) and the Vikings' offense (with which Harvin was admittedly unhappy before the 2012 season), the receiver couldn't resist a jab.

"This offense does the exact opposite [of the offense Harvin had in 2012 with the Vikings]. It allows you to stretch the field as you saw today," he said. "You saw Doug [Baldwin] shake loose. You saw a lot of big catches by the tight end, Zach Miller. This offense is built in to have its hot reads and its deep shots and Russell, he'll pick his time when he wants to take them."

Harvin can say the media inflated the story in Minnesota, but he was the one who reportedly threw a weight at former coach Brad Childress and got into at least one altercation with Frazier. And if he had a low opinion of Ponder, the quarterback's play in the second half on Sunday probably helped Harvin feel justified in those feelings.

But when Frazier says -- as he's now done twice -- that reporters could help him write a book about what happened with Harvin, it's a little hard to believe the aw-shucks routine from the receiver. In the end, it probably doesn't matter. What Harvin said on Sunday, though -- and just as importantly, what he omitted -- might lend more clarity to why he's no longer with the Vikings.

"The things that didn't work out, they're there and I'm here," he said. "I'm enjoying myself. I'm having a blast. Life goes on."