Vikings plan to kepp wideout Harvin
The Minnesota Vikings have no intention of trading wide receiver Percy Harvin, general manager Rick Spielman said Friday.
Spielman refused to comment specifically on Harvin's contract situation, citing his usual policy about any Vikings player or coach. Spielman said team officials, as always, will meet next week at the NFL scouting combine with the agents for every player, which of course includes Harvin's representative, Joel Segal. Spielman declined to address the possibility of negotiating a new deal for Harvin, who will the final year of his contract in 2013.
As for the potential of a holdout, should Harvin's deal not be extended, Spielman said ''he's not going to get into hypotheticals'' about that.
''Percy Harvin is under contract and we expect him, just like all of our players under contract, to be here,'' Spielman said,
Spielman stopped short when asked if he meant the Vikings won't ultimately make a deal that sends Harvin away.
''Again, there is no intent to trade Percy Harvin,'' Spielman said. ''He is a very good football player.''
Spielman said the Vikings weren't concerned that Harvin chose to rehabilitate his sprained left ankle in Florida rather than stay at the team facility after he was placed on injured reserve in early December. Harvin was hurt in early November, cutting short what had been a highly productive season for the 24-year-old to that point.
Spielman said he believes offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has done an effective job of trying to put the ball in Harvin's hands. Spielman said, however, that he'd leave Harvin's overall feelings about the scheme, the playbook and the personnel between the player and the coaching staff. Harvin met with coach Leslie Frazier in January when he returned for his exit physical, which he passed, clearing him to train again at full speed.
Harvin's many talents and toughness on the field are hard to miss, but his future with Minnesota is unclear because of attitude issues that have popped up and the amount of money he'll likely fetch in his next contract. The Vikings must weigh his value as a slot receiver, occasional running back and dangerous kickoff returner against the dent his new deal would put on the salary cap, knowing they need more than just Harvin to give developing quarterback Christian Ponder a capable group of pass-catchers.
The situation surrounding Harvin has taken on a life of its own, with a steady stream of rumors about what might happen.
''Don't believe all the half-truths or the rumors or the no-truths that are out there, because there is so much stuff that flies around,'' Spielman said, adding: ''I know where we're at not only with Percy but with everybody.''
Spielman also addressed the status of Frazier, whose 2014 contract option was exercised without the promise of or negotiations on a new deal. That gives Frazier at least two more years but means the Vikings must act after next season to avoid putting the coach in a lame-duck year.
''We expect him to be our coach for a long time. He's been outstanding at everything, from leadership to development of young players,'' Spielman said, adding: ''There's no question of the support that our ownership group, myself, I think our whole organization, has for Leslie Frazier.''
Spielman declined to specify what he meant by ''long time.'' But he said he doesn't believe the so-far lack of a long-term commitment by the Vikings has irked the coach.
''You know what type of character and what type of person he is and what he stands for,'' Spielman said.
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