The NFL world woke up this morning to the news that Minnesota Vikings WR Percy Harvin wants out. He said he wasn’t happy yesterday, reiterated that, and now asked for a trade. News to the Vikings. They were stunned.
So was Harvin’s good buddy, RB Adrian Peterson. He learned the news watching the ticker yesterday, and the star hadn’t talked with Harvin about it. Today, he offered his reaction.
“Whatever the issue is, I’m sure they’ll get things squared away,” said Peterson, who often trains with Harvin.
Peterson was asked how distracting it was, and he turned that answer into essentially a plea for Harvin and his team to make nice.
“Distracting? I wouldn’t say distracting,” Peterson said. “It’s more bothering. We definitely don’t want to lose this guy. He put the emphasis on that by saying that. … I’m sure the organization will do what they have to do to keep this guy around. If it was me, I’d make sure we kept him around.”
[Updated at 1:25 p.m. Central: Hit the jump button to see GM Rick Spielman’s comments.]
Peterson said he’d speak with Harvin about this deal and will offer some advice. He wants to see what’s bothering him first.
“But ultimately, we’re grown men, so I’m sure he’s going to do what his mind is set,” Peterson said. “But I feel like personally, everything’ll work out fine. Everything’ll be OK.”
Before Peterson talked, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave spoke. He sounded relatively shocked with the news, and he said he hadn’t been aware of it.
“We’re really excited that he’s here this week,” Musgrave said. “He’s been engaged in the meetings and we got him out on the field a little bit in certain periods yesterday, so it’s a good thing he’s here.”
Musgrave described his relationship with Harvin as “outstanding.” He leaned back on coach Leslie Frazier’s comments that the team would have good dialogue with Harvin.
But Harvin only played 58 percent of the snaps last year. Does Musgrave expect to get him more involved?
“Yes. We’re looking forward to getting him on the field, and as an offense, we’re looking forward to having a better year, that’s the bottom line,” Musgrave said. “Looking forward to (using him more).”
Finally, Spielman spoke to media members and said he has no plans to trade Harvin. Asked point-blank if he considered him a cornerstone of the franchise, Spielman said, “Yes.” But he didn’t shed much light on the situation otherwise.
Spielman spoke with Harvin’s agent Joel Segal, while Frazier spoke with Harvin. “Just some internal things that we’ll get worked out,” Spielman said. “We’re very excited to have Percy part of this team moving forward.”
Several times, Spielman refused to say what it was related to. “It’s part of the NFL,” he said. “There are always going to be specific players you’re going to have to deal with for specific issues. You deal with them internally and move on.”
Spielman was asked if he’s confident Harvin will be in training camp, and he said Harvin’s a player under contract. He expects all players under contract to be in Mankato. When someone noted that it’s encouraging Harvin is here, Spielman said, “Percy loves football. That’s why he’s such a great player, why he’s an important part of this organization and we’ll continue to move forward. … We feel confident we can work through anything we need to work through.”
Finally, Spielman was asked if it could be contract-related. While he didn’t specify that (and the indication is that it isn’t), he spoke about a player who feels like they’ve out-performed their contract.
“Our philosophy has always been, as players enter the last year of their contract, we have a history of extending players going into the last year of their contract,” said Spielman of Harvin, who has two years left. “That’s been our history.“