Vikings WR Harvin unhappy with team


Vikings WR Harvin unhappy with team

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.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs visit White House as World Series champions

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs visit White House as World Series champions

On the latest edition of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, David Kaplan is joined by David Haugh (Chicago Tribune) and Jason Goch (SB Nation Radio) to discuss the Cubs' visit to the White House.

The guys reflect on the historic day and Theo Epstein's speech. Then, the panel breaks down the Packers' impressive run and question whether it's okay for Bears fans to appreciate Aarond Rodgers and company.

Finally, are the Wild the Blackhawks' biggest threat come playoff time?

Listen to the SportsTalk Live podcast below.


Fire trade for midfielder Dax McCarty


Fire trade for midfielder Dax McCarty

Midfield has been an area of focus this offseason for Chicago Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez and another new addition to that group was added on Monday.

The Fire have traded $400,000 in general allocation money in return for midfielder Dax McCarty from the New York Red Bulls. Paul Tenorio of Four Four Two first reported the trade.

McCarty was an All-Star in 2015 and part of the league's Best XI that season when he had eight assists to go with a goal. Last season he made 26 starts for the Red Bulls and totaled three goals and had five assists.

"Since the middle of 2016, we made acquiring Dax our No. 1 priority," Rodr√≠guez said in the club's press release. "We believe adding his character and leadership in the locker room, as well as his exceptional soccer abilities on the field, dramatically improves our team."

The last time McCarty played at Toyota Park was a 2-2 draw on July 31 when a Khaly Thiam tackle caused a fractured tibia, which forced McCarty to sit out a month.

McCarty got married on Saturday, which delayed his arrival to the current U.S. national team camp. McCarty's participation in national team camp means he will join the Fire's preseason already in progress. The final match of the camp is on Feb. 3 while the Fire are set to start preseason on January 23.

McCarty, 29, has spent the past five and a half seasons with the Red Bulls. He began his career by playing five seasons for FC Dallas and was with D.C. United for part of the 2011 campaign before being traded to the Red Bulls. As an 11-year league veteran and the Red Bulls' captain, McCarty adds leadership and experience which Rodriguez has prioritized this offseason.

The Fire already added a former MLS All-Star in midfield this offseason in Juninho. The pair could line up next to each other in the preferred 4-2-3-1 coach Veljko Paunovic used for most of last season. This also could potentially put Matt Polster's role with the team in question. As the roster stands now, the third-year midfielder would be competing for two veteran All-Star caliber midfielders who were brought in at a high price.

Not to suggest a position move is in the works for Polster, but he did split time between midfield and right back with the Fire in 2015 under coach Frank Yallop and played there for the U-23 national team in Olympic qualifying. Right back remains a position of need by Rodriguez's own admission.

The trade also adds further context to the Fire trading the No. 3 pick in the draft on Friday. The Fire swapped the pick for $250,000 in general allocation money from New York City FC and Tenorio is reporting the Fire will send $400,000 to the Red Bulls for McCarty. To add those two moves together, the Fire dealt the No. 3 overall pick and $150,000 of allocation money for McCarty.