Good news for Minnesota Vikings fans: The franchise has found a way to clone Adrian Peterson so you don’t have to worry about the void created Monday by the trade of wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks.
In all seriousness, the Vikings now have a major lack of talent at the skill positions following the Harvin deal, which was first reported by FOX Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer. Harvin was the team’s best wideout, by a large margin, and also a threat to run out of the backfield.
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Harvin, though, ran afoul of Vikings brass with his moody behind-the-scenes behavior and demands for a new contract. He has a lengthy injury history, as well.
The Seahawks must feel confident a long-term deal can be reached with Harvin because they paid a heavy price. Glazer reported that Minnesota is acquiring 2013 first- and seventh-round picks and a mid-rounder in 2014.
So how do the Vikings replace Harvin?
Expect the team to become active in free agency. Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace is considered the top receiver on the market, but, as reported Saturday by FOXSports.com, Miami is the frontrunner to sign him. If the Vikings opt not to bid on him, Green Bay’s Greg Jennings is considered the next-best receiver available.
The Vikings do have two young players they are excited about. Wide receiver Jarius Wright showed playmaking ability as a rookie in 2012, and tight end Kyle Rudolph blossomed into a Pro Bowl selection (and the game’s Most Valuable Player) in his second NFL season. The Vikings also now have two first-round picks where the wide receiver position can be addressed.
By the end of the preseason, the Vikings should have more weapons for third-year quarterback Christian Ponder to bolster what was the NFL’s 31st-ranked passing offense in 2012. At least that’s what Ponder and Peterson are hoping with an explosive player like Harvin now elsewhere.