The Minnesota Vikings started this season as one of the biggest surprises in the NFL. Minnesota, which finished 3-13 last season, started off 5-2, and looked poised to stay in the NFC playoff hunt throughout the season. Since that hot start, the Vikings have gone 1-4, and look like a team that will be lucky to win another game.
On Wednesday, the Vikings made a decision that might absolutely seal their fate for 2012. The team placed wide receiver Percy Harvin on the Injured Reserve list, ending the season for the dynamic Harvin. Without Harvin, Minnesota is probably doomed to a 7-9 record, at best.
Over the first six weeks of the season, Harvin was one of the best players in the NFL. His dynamic contributions to the Vikings' offense helped make the team a legitimate playoff threat. Early in the season, many fans thought that the Vikings should, and would, tear up Harvin's rookie contract after the season, and negotiate a deal with the former Florida Gator that would make him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.
While Harvin's abilities are not in question, it would be a huge risk on the part of the Vikings and general manager Rick Spielman to offer the mercurial wideout a watershed payday. This offseason will go a long way in determining the futures of both Harvin and the Minnesota franchise.
The following slides examine both the positive and negative aspects of offering Harvin a huge contract.