Percy Harvin is still in the process of rehabbing his shoulder after April surgery, but there are apparently more issues than that involved with his recent absences from the Minnesota Vikings’ voluntary organized team activities.
Speaking after the first walk-through of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, Harvin said there were a “couple different issues” that need to be worked out, adding they definitely need to be resolved before he will be at training camp next month.
“I don’t get into specifics; just overall haven’t been really happy,” Harvin said. “But we here, hopefully we can get things worked out and go from there.”
Article continues below ...
Harvin, 24, had shoulder surgery in late April did participate in the afternoon practice in wide receiver drills, but watched 11-on-11 drills from the side. After the afternoon practice he said he isn’t backing down from his earlier comments, but said he just wants to focus on football right now.
Harvin did show up at the beginning of the voluntary OTAs last month, working on the side with the also-rehabbing Adrian Peterson. Harvin said after the season he was going to rally his teammates to be active participants in the voluntary portions of the offseason program and made sure he was there at the beginning.
However, he reportedly returned to practice for one day at the start of the second week of OTAs, but wasn’t participating the next day during the session open to the media. Coach Leslie Frazier called his absence “voluntary” and said all reports were his shoulder was feeling better.
Perhaps Frazier intimating that Harvin was choosing to be out is one of the concerns.
“We’re trying to keep everything in house,” Harvin said. “Specific people tell you the stories that they do. I keep everything in house, and we deal with stuff in house.”
With attendance mandatory this week, Harvin was at practice Tuesday, but just watched the morning walk-through. He said he’s been in meetings, but doesn’t seem ready to practice. And the “issues” could be the reason.
When asked if he’s unhappy with his contract, Harvin declined to get into the reasons. Harvin has two years remaining on his contract. He is due $915,000 this season and $1.55 million in 2013. He led the Vikings with 87 catches, 967 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns last season, and added 52 carries for 345 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the go-to offensive star with Peterson missing parts of the season due to injuries.
“I just put it this way: There’s a lot of different things that have to be sorted out,” Harvin said. “Just haven’t been really happy lately. We’ve got a couple of things to work on. I’m here in the classroom. We’ll go from there.”
Frazier said the two have talked and will continue to talk and that he isn’t “alarmed” one of his top playmakers is unhappy. Frazier said the issues weren’t contract related or due to Harvin’s role in the offense.
“There’s some things he and I will talk through, and we’ll get those resolved,” Frazier said. “It’s not something that can’t be handled and not something we can’t talk through. Not alarmed. Not alarmed at all.”
While Frazier had originally said OTAs were the target for Harvin’s return from shoulder surgery, the receiver and the coach both backed off that timeline Tuesday. Frazier said the team wasn’t planning on having Harvin do much at minicamp, and Harvin said training camp had been his desired return all along.
“My whole plan was training camp,” Harvin said. “So, we still shoot for training camp. I feel fine right now. Feel great, so I’m just in the classroom taking in as much as I can and I’m just staying on the schedule they put me on.”
Harvin noted there is a lot of time before players have to report to training camp on July 16 and that he hopes there are “a lot of conversations” before then. Frazier said he expects Harvin to be at training camp.
“I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be at training camp,” Frazier said. “I expect him to be at camp. I expect all our guys to be at camp.”