Percy Harvin: ‘My best years’ were with the Minnesota Vikings

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Percy Harvin
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Percy Harvin /

The former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver recently talked to Sports Illustrated about some of the issues he dealt with during his NFL career.

Every time Percy Harvin stepped on the field for the Minnesota Vikings, the wide receiver had the ability to mesmerize a crowd with his tremendous skills. Harvin used a combination of power, speed, and elusiveness to emerge as one the most exciting receivers to ever play for the Vikings.

Unfortunately, his time in Minnesota only lasted four years.

After an impressive 2012 season with the Vikings that was cut short after just nine games due to an ankle injury, Harvin reportedly asked to be traded. So prior to the 2013 season, Minnesota agreed to a trade that sent the young receiver to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a first-round draft pick.

During his four years with the Vikings, Harvin averaged 70 catches, 996 yards from scrimmage, and six touchdowns per season. After Minnesota traded him, the receiver’s numbers took a huge dive due to injuries and other issues he was dealing with that were mostly unknown until now.

Harvin recently sat down with Sports Illustrated’s Michael McKnight and revealed that he dealt with an anxiety disorder during the majority of his NFL career.

The former Vikings receiver made sure to emphasize that he doesn’t want his anxiety to be an excuse for his past actions, but he just wants to make sure people are able to understand why he acted abnormal at times during his football career.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

When speaking about his time in Minnesota, Harvin believes he was able to be so successful with the Vikings because they were a team that made him feel the most comfortable about his fight with anxiety.

"“That’s why I say Minnesota was my best years; I had at least one person who understood. Other places were less understanding, because they just didn’t know.”"

That one person the former receiver is referring to is current Vikings player personnel director Les Pico. Harvin referred to Pico as, “a huge help,” during his career in Minnesota.

Now retired from the NFL, the former Vikings receiver lives in Gainesville, Florida and spends his time taking care of his five-year-old son and his three dogs.

Having gone through a lot during his career, Harvin is now also using his past experiences to help mentor young football players at the University of Florida (his alma mater). The former Minnesota receiver is also close to earning a degree in psychology and once he graduates, he says he would like to get an M.B.A. as well.

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It’s extremely difficult not to think about what could have been if Harvin remained with the Vikings for longer than four years. But at the same time, it’s good to know that he is now really enjoying his life off of the field.