Vikings have 'no interest' in trading Percy Harvin, who skips practice
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Percy Harvin delivered a clear message to the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, and general manager Rick Spielman wasted little time responding in kind.
"We have no interest at all in trading Percy Harvin," Spielman told reporters on Wednesday afternoon, one day after Harvin said he's unhappy about multiple issues and hours after news broke the dynamic receiver has requested a trade.
Harvin attended Wednesday's morning walkthrough at the Vikings' mandatory minicamp but didn't participate in drills and left without speaking to reporters.
Then, Harvin skipped the afternoon practice, meaning he's now subject to fines -- $10,500 for one missed day, another $21,000 for two -- unless the team excused him.
Coach Leslie Frazier said he wasn't sure whether Harvin would attend the final practice of minicamp on Thursday morning either, in part because he wasn't sure when the two would have another discussion about the issues neither side will disclose.
"I don't know what could keep it from getting worked out, whatever it is," Frazier said. "So, we'll see."
Spielman declined to elaborate on the issues, too, and wouldn't confirm Harvin's trade request. But Spielman did acknowledge he has spoken with Harvin's agent, Joel Segal, "a few times. Just some internal things that we'll work out and very excited to have Percy a part of this team moving forward."
In three NFL seasons, Harvin has accounted for 5,821 total yards and 24 touchdowns. He has two years remaining on his original rookie contract, with a scheduled base salary of only $915,000 in 2012.
"He's a key part of our organization," Spielman said. "He's a key part of our football team, and any issues that are out there or reported, we always handle those internally and will continue to handle those internally.
"We've had a very good offseason. I know our players have worked and coaches have worked extremely hard and look forward to everybody getting down to Mankato (for training camp) and having a great season coming up."
Several NFL sources said the Vikings were caught off-guard when Harvin went public with his frustration on Tuesday. Even his close confidante, receivers coach George Stewart, said he didn't have any idea about the situation.
"I wish I could elaborate," Stewart said, "but our head coach is going to address that and hopefully, that thing'll be squared away."
Likewise, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said he was unaware of any standing issue with Harvin and categorized their working relationship as "outstanding."
Frazier mostly deferred to Spielman's statement, eventually halting a string of 10 consecutive questions about Harvin by saying he'd "really rather concentrate on the guys that are here, because we've got a lot of guys doing a good job.
"Percy's a great football player. He's been a great football player for our team and done a lot of big things for us. But I don't want to take the focus off of these guys that are working as hard as they're working here at our mandatory minicamp. To have the type of participation that we have and guys giving the effort that they've been giving ... I don't want to center it on one person.
Spielman declined to say whether Harvin's contract is part of the issue but pointed out the Vikings "have a history of extending players going into the last year of their contract."
That could be a sticking point, given that Harvin has two years remaining on the five-year, $12.05 million deal he signed as the No. 22 overall pick in the 2009 draft.
Halfback Adrian Peterson, whose contract was extended as he entered the last year of his own rookie deal in September, said he heard about Harvin's unhappiness while watching TV in bed on Tuesday night.
"I'm definitely going to talk to him," Peterson said. "Any way I can help. Different 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. I feel like personally this thing will work out. Everything will be OK."
Frazier continued to express optimism, too, but made clear "extensive" discussions may be needed to sort out everything.
Asked if the situation has been a distraction, Frazier said, "I'm not so sure our players are overly concerned. They seem to really be focused on what we're doing and what they have to get done, and part of that is the competition we have at various positions. It's hard to get sidetracked by other things that are going on.
"Hopefully, we'll be headed in the right direction when we get to training camp and everyone can focus on getting ready for the Jacksonville game, and that's the way it has to be. We can't afford any outside distractions."