The big story this off-season for the Minnesota Vikings is re-signing, or attempting at least, the 24 year old WR Percy Harvin. Leslie Frazier has been quoted as saying the re-signing of Harvin is a "focal point" of the 2013 Vikings offense.
The Vikings really need to set their sights on keeping Harvin in Minnesota, or at least line up some other big name free agent receivers if Harvin is intent on not returning. You can understand why Harvin would be discouraged from returning to the team because it was the Adrian Peterson show for the latter half of the season. But Percy has to remember that any offense that features an all-pro , MVP winning RB coupled with a second year QB is going to focus mainly on the running aspect of the game. There's no doubt that Christian Ponder is improving, to say the least, and if Harvin sticks with the Vikings, he could have a breakout year no matter how many yards Peterson puts up. Harvin is already the main man at WR so he doesn't need to worry about competing for the top spot if he left. Harvin only played 9 games this year but still was targeted 8 more times and had 12 more receptions than Michael Jenkins who played 16 games this year. The complete stat line for Harvin in 2012-13 was 9 games, 85 targets, 62 receptions, 677 yards and 3 touchdowns.
As Ponder's passing becomes more refined and pin-pointed, you'll see the receiving core become more well-known around the league. To give Leslie Frazier some support, he did do a great job this past season creating plays for his receiving core while making sure that AP had every chance to break the record.
If Harvin does leave the Vikings, then it's time for Frazier & Co. to start shopping on the free-agent market.
Here's who's available this off-season:
Greg Jennings (GB): Probably too expensive for the Vikings budget
Mike Wallace (PIT): The quick 26 year-old could provide a deep threat for the Vikings, if Ponder can hit his spots
Dwayne Bowe (KC): Bowe could provide a mid-level threat but would only be a short-term replacement
Wes Welker (NE): Will probably stay in the AFC
Danny Amendola (STL): Here's one guy I would love the Vikings to sign. He's a young receiver who can give the Vikings the mid-level edge with the option of a long-term contract
Brian Hartline (MIA): Possible but not probable the Vikings would look at him
And here's the top 5 receivers for the 2013 Draft Class:
1-Keenan Allen (California): 6' 3", 210 lbs. Proj. Round: 1