Vikings have 'no interest' in trading Harvin
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman didn't take long to address an Associated Press report Wednesday that star receiver Percy Harvin had requested a trade.
Spielman said Wednesday afternoon at the Vikings' mandatory minicamp that the team will not be dealing its talented receiver.
Harvin was back at practice Wednesday after speaking in generalities Tuesday about his displeasure with the team, but he didn't talk with the media after the morning session. Spielman, however, was talking about the AP report citing a league source that said Harvin had approached the Vikings and requested a deal.
"Everything that's been reported, just from our standpoint, from the Minnesota Vikings, we have no interest at all in trading Percy Harvin," Spielman said. "We drafted Percy Harvin here. He's a key part of our organization. He's a key part of our football team. Any issues that are out there or reported, we always handle those internally and will continue to handle those internally."
Harvin missed Wednesday's afternoon practice, and coach Leslie Frazier wouldn't elaborate on the reasoning behind the absence and wouldn't comment on the trade request. He also said he wasn't sure if Harvin would practice on Thursday, the final day of the minicamp.
"I really don't want to get into it regarding him until we have a chance to have an extensive conversation," Frazier said. "When we do, we'll be glad to talk further. But for now, I think the things Rick talked about will have to stand for us regarding Percy."
Possibly hearing it from the fans, Harvin responded via his Twitter page after not speaking after Wednesday's early practice. Harvin said his issues aren't about his contract, though left no further clarification of the issues at hand.
"Fans I said I have issues to be worked out money not at all being the problem...I've dne everything asked and more...," Harvin wrote on his Twitter page, adding: "Me and cch have been speaking and are on same page...theres nothin I can do."
Harvin, 24, said Tuesday, "just overall, (I) haven't been really happy" and he refused to get into specifics. After he practiced in the afternoon session Tuesday, Harvin said he didn't want to be a distraction to the team, was done talking about what was bothering him and said he wanted to focus on football.
Minnesota's first-round pick in 2009, Harvin was the team's leading receiver last year with 87 catches, 967 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. He added 52 carries for 345 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the go-to offensive star with running back Adrian Peterson missing a big part of the season because of injuries.
Harvin wouldn't say if he was unhappy with his contract. He has two years remaining on his original five-year rookie deal and is due $915,000 this season and $1.55 million in 2013. But requesting a trade a day after making his displeasure public could mean there is more to his situation than just money. Harvin's playing time and role in the offense, considerably low for a player of his caliber, has also been a hot topic the past two seasons.
"I just put it this way: There's a lot of different things that have to be sorted out," Harvin said Tuesday. "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."
Peterson, who was at practice Wednesday, said he heard about Harvin's situation on Tuesday night. Peterson said he hadn't talked with Harvin but is planning to find out the reasons for the receiver's complaints.
"I'm definitely going to talk to him," Peterson said. "In any way I can help him, give him advice, I'll do that. But first, I have to sit down and talk to him and see what's bothering him. But ultimately, we're grown men, so I'm sure he's going to do what his mind is set (on). I'll feel like, personally, things will work out fine. I think it'll be OK."
Peterson isn't worried about Harvin's situation becoming a distraction but knows Harvin's importance to the offense.
"I wouldn't say distracting; it's more bothering," Peterson said. "It's like, ‘We definitely don't want to lose this guy.' ... So I'm sure the organization will do what it has to do to keep this guy around. If it was me, I would make sure that we kept him around. But we'll see."
Spielman doesn't appear willing to let Harvin leave town. The GM refused to say if Harvin's reported request was related to his contract. Spielman said he hadn't talked with Harvin but has talked with his agent, Joel Segal. He said Frazier has spoken with Harvin.
"You're always going to talk, but I know with our organization and I know his representation and we have a close relationship," Spielman said. "And we'll work through anything and feel confident we can work through anything that needs to be worked through."
Harvin's displeasure is a marked change in attitude for a player who began the offseason saying he would rally the team around its voluntary offseason activities, only to miss several of those workouts after initially returning from minor shoulder surgery.
Harvin on Tuesday seemed to purposefully offer up a sampler plate of his state of mind without serving up a main course. He did say the issues "definitely" need to be resolved before he shows up for training camp.
"I don't get into specifics; just overall, (I) haven't been really happy," Harvin said. "But we (are) here, hopefully we can get things worked out and go from there."
Spielman and Frazier have said they expect Harvin to be at training camp. Frazier said he will meet with Harvin sometime before camp to reconcile the situation.
"We're going to talk more in detail," Frazier said. "We have a lot of things to talk about and we'll talk more in detail."
But suddenly, the team bond Harvin professed to want to bolster several months ago could be in danger as he works through his issues with the Vikings.
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