The good news: Percy Harvin has reported to minicamp.
The bad news: He doesn’t plan on practicing much.
The worse news: He has hinted that a holdout could be in the near future.
According to multiple reports (transcript here), Harvin is unhappy with a number of different issues and insists that those issues need to be resolved prior to training camp. He did not go into specifics, but it is understandably assumed by media types that Harvin’s main issue surrounds his contract status.
Harvin is set to make $915,000 this year and $1.55 million in 2013, his final year from the rookie deal he signed. The money obviously does not match up with his on-field importance, as is often the case in situations where a rookie performs at a high level.
“I’ll just put it this way — it’s a lot of different things that have to be sorted out,” Harvin said. “Just haven’t been real happy lately. So, we’ve got a couple things to work on. I’m here in the classroom, so we’ll go from here.”
Leslie Frazier made some comments that pretty much just sidestepped the issue all together and he just said he was glad to have Harvin at the minicamp, and that he expects all of his players to report to minicamp.
I can understand the motivation for Harvin, who has had his fair share of health problems, to want to cash in on his success thus far in the NFL. I can also see why the front office might be hesitant to invest a ton of money into an injury-prone receiver, especially when they can retain his rights for another two years or possibly even three.
Assuming that the issues really are contract related (key word: assuming), then I don’t really see how Harvin will win this battle if he decides to take the holdout route. The Vikings are likely not going to have many qualms about getting their young receivers extra reps during practice periods (remember, Jarius Wright is thought to be capable of playing a similar role as Harvin), and Harvin will almost certainly have to report if the Vikings start docking his pay in the event of a lengthy holdout.
I see this less as something that is an issue right now and more of a preview of things to come… next offseason.
But, who knows, maybe this turns really ugly really fast.
I hope not.