By Danny Moran
The Minnesota Vikings were dealt a significant blow when their most dangerous weapon, running back Adrian Peterson, tore his ACL and MCL during the last game of the season. Now the team's second-most explosive player has publicly expressed his unhappiness with the direction of the team.
Wide receiver Percy Harvin said he is dissatisfied with the team during their first day of mandatory minicamp.
While he did not comment on specifics, Harvin has multiple reasons for his frustration. He is still playing with his rookie contract and will make less than 1 million in 2012.
The former first round pick out of Florida had career highs last season in receptions (87) and receiving yards (967), as well as hauling in six touchdowns. He also took on a greater role in the backfield, carrying the ball 52 times for 345 yards and three touchdowns.
But Minnesota has regressed over each of Harvin's three seasons with the team. The Vikings stumbled to a 3-13 record in 2011, the team's worst record since they drafted Harvin in 2009. They have missed the playoffs for two consecutive years after reaching the NFC Championship the previous season before falling to the eventual champion New Orleans Saints.
Getting back into the playoff hunt may be tougher now then ever as the NFC North is arguably the strongest division in the NFL. The Chicago Bears were 7-3 before Matt Forte and Jay Cutler both went down season-ending injuries. The Detroit Lions reached the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons. And the Green Bay Packers are coming off a 15-1 season to follow up their Super Bowl victory the year before.
Minnesota's opponents in 2012 had a combined .512 winning percentage in 2011, giving them the eighth toughest schedule in the league.