Photo - Aj Mansour (KFAN)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - With the dust continuing to settle from the Vikings improbable 10-6 season and run into the playoffs, general manager Rick Spielman held an informal luncheon with members of the local media Thursday afternoon. I should start by suggesting that you all temper your expectations for news worthy material. Spielman is a seasoned veteran when it comes to disclosing tidbits of information while withholding other pieces of the story at the same time. That said, it was nice to sit down with the man who makes the decisions and reflect on the season that was, begin looking into the future a little bit and simply BS with a man who is unavailable to us most of the season.
The number one topic that will dominate the wire for the Minnesota Vikings this off season will be the status of veteran wide receiver Percy Harvin.
The ups and downs of Harvin's 2012 season have been well documented but let's briefly review the puzzling year the Percy Harvin had with the Minnesota Vikings.
- June 19th - Percy Harvin tells reporters that he is "unhappy" with his situation in Minnesota. Sits out from team's Mini Camp activities.
- June 20th - Reports surface claiming that Percy Harvin had requested to be traded from the Minnesota Vikings. Harvin takes to Twitter and muddies the water even more saying "I said I have issues to be worked out money not at all being the problem...I've dne [sic] everything asked and more..." & "me and cch [sic] have been speaking and are on same page...theres nothin I can do." Later that day, Percy appears at Mini Camp activities but does not participate.
- July 27th - Smile on his face, Percy Harvin joins coaches and teammates down in Mankato, MN for an extended training camp that would span three weeks this year.
- August 8th - Tempers run as hot as the training camp weather, Percy and rookie safety Harrison Smith have to be separated after an altercation between the two broke out at the afternoon session of a training camp practice.
- September 9th - November 4th - Percy takes to the field and dominates the competition. 62 catches, 677 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns place Harvin in the conversation for League MVP.
- November 4th - Harvin seen screaming at head coach Leslie Frazier on the sidelines in Seattle. Ends up leaving game against Seahawks with serious ankle injury.
- December 5th - After missing three straight games, Minnesota Vikings announce that they have placed Percy Harvin on injured reserve, ending his 2012 season.
- December 20th - Word leaks that there may have been a heated exchange between head coach Leslie Frazier and Percy Harvin in the weight room at Winter Park prior to Harvin being placed on the injured reserve list.
- January 2nd - Word gets out that Percy Harvin has not been around the facility since being placed on injured reserve and has been rehabbing at his home in Florida.
And that brings us to this week. The season is over and players, coaches and now Rick Spielman are commenting on the season that was and touching, however briefly, on the Percy Harvin situation.
On Tuesday of this week, Leslie Frazier met the media and was the first to broach the seemingly difficult topic of Percy Harvin. Frazier mentioned that he had not been in contact with Harvin since he had left the team but was looking forward to seeing him again when he returned to Minnesota and Winter Park for his post season physical with head trainer Eric Sugarman.
Frazier went on to say that his conversation with Percy would not as much be health related but "will be more reconnecting" with the team's absent superstar.
"I don't know if there's anything that needs to be done [to help Percy coexist with the Vikings]," Frazier said. "He'll coexist peacefully, he exists peacefully now."
In meeting today with Rick Spielman, we got much of the same again.
When asked point-blank if Percy was suspended from the team for conduct detrimental to the team, Spielman quickly replied saying, "No."
"Percy comes to work every day," Spielman continued. "Everybody sees what Percy puts on the field. He plays the game as hard or harder than anyone else in the NFL...We have no issues with Percy Harvin."
The more and more we hear from players, coaches and members of the Vikings front office, I struggle to get the feeling that the organization is at odds in any way with Percy Harvin. Their tone, their carefully chosen words and their overall attitude towards the way this enigmatic season has played out for Percy wreaks more of a concerned parent than it does of a disgruntled employer.
I'm not sure exactly what is going on with Percy Harvin, and I'm not sure if we ever will find out all of the details. That being said, I continue to get the vibe that Leslie Frazier, Rick Spielman and the Vikings are quietly struggling through a situation where they are looking to aid their young superstar through his previously mentioned "unhappiness".
In the past few weeks, I've been pretty negative on the prospective future for Harvin and the Vikings, and only time will tell how the story will actually play out, but my mind set towards the situation has recently taken a turn for the best if you are a Vikings fan. There are surely still some issues present, but I don't think they will push Percy Harvin away from the Minnesota Vikings.
This will be a big off season for the Vikings in many ways. The status of Percy Harvin will certainly continue to be one of the dominating headlines.