Harvin voices frustration at Vikings minicamp
Harvin isn't saying what has him so upset with the organization that drafted him in the first round in 2009, but he sounded the alarm Tuesday that something has to be addressed before training camp begins at the end of July.
"I just put it this way, there's a lot of different things that have to be sorted out," Harvin said on the first day of a mandatory minicamp. "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."
Harvin watched most of the morning practice without participating, though coach Leslie Frazier said that was planned because the star receiver is only two months removed from shoulder surgery. He was much more involved in the afternoon practice, running routes full speed with a helmet on and catching passes.
Harvin has two years left on his rookie contract, but declined several opportunities to be more specific about why he is unhappy, be it financial or something to do with the direction of a team that appears to be in rebuilding mode after consecutive last-place finishes in the NFC North.
"I don't get into specifics," Harvin said. "Just overall haven't been really happy. But we here, hopefully we can get things worked out and go from there."
Harvin said he "definitely" wants to have things settled before training camp, but did not say he planned to hold out if those issues weren't resolved.
"We've got a lot of time between then, hopefully a lot of conversations," Harvin said. "It's just a couple different issues. It's hard to try to tell you guys without telling you guys. I just keep it as that."
Frazier said he plans to meet with one of his most important players to discuss Harvin's grievances in depth, but appeared confident that any issues could be resolved before training camp begins.
"It's not something that can't be handled and not something we can't talk through," Frazier said. "Not alarmed. Not alarmed at all."
Still, to have the key cog of a remade receiver group upset has to be of some concern to the Vikings. Harvin posted career highs in receptions (87), yards (967) and total touchdowns with nine, six receiving, two rushing and one on a kick return.
He is the team's most versatile player, also serving as a backup running back who rushed for 345 yards last season, one of the most dangerous kick returners in the NFL and the unquestioned leader of the Vikings receivers.
Despite missing numerous practices with injuries, including migraine headaches that plagued him for much of his first two seasons, Harvin has established himself as a respected veteran presence on the team heading into his fourth year. He showed up at some of the voluntary workouts earlier this summer despite still recovering from shoulder surgery and is being counted on to help quarterback Christian Ponder settle in during his second season.
The Vikings also added rookie receivers Jarius Wright and Greg Childs in the draft and signed Jerome Simpson from Cincinnati to completely reshape the group. That means Frazier could use a happy Harvin on the field and in the video room to help integrate them to a new team.
"I'm going to be honest with you guys. I've been watching tape, but it's just working on things from last year," Harvin said when asked about the offense. "I'm into it, but like I said, I'm not happy with things, so I haven't really been in tune to (personnel) and stuff right now. Overall, just watching game film and breaking down quarterbacks, breaking down myself, defenses I may face, that I faced last year, things like that."
Frazier was confident that things can be worked out.
"I really feel like when he and I sit down and talk in depth," Frazier said, "whatever is in his heart or on his mind, we'll get through it."
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