Percy Harvin returned Thursday. He stretched, laughed, joked with teammates. Oh, and he practiced.
So does that mean all is again well between the Vikings and their mercurial receiver? Uh, Harvin wasn’t talking.
He did turn a routine, three-day minicamp into big sports news, however.
Harvin expressed his unhappiness Tuesday. Wednesday brought news he had requested a trade. After the Vikings made it clear that wasn’t an option, Harvin skipped practice.
But all seemed well Thursday when the mandatory camp ended.
“It’s a new day today,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “The fact that (Harvin) was engaged and worked to help us win, that’s where my focus is. Just glad that he was participating in what we were doing.”
Harvin was escorted off the field after practice by a team employee. He smiled and said he’d talk later. In a sense, he did, taking to Twitter (@Percy — Harvin) to say: “I’m really clueless on the crazy reports. … had great prac today … to all my real fans and real vikes fans see u at Mankato.. salute.”
The only thing crazy was the course of events surrounding Harvin.
At first, he said he was unhappy and wouldn’t be in Mankato for training camp unless “issues” were resolved. Problem is, neither Harvin nor the Vikings let on what those issues were.
Was it money? Harvin is entering the fourth season of his five-year rookie deal, which pays him $915,000 this season. But Harvin tweeted Wednesday night that money wasn’t the issue.
In any event, Harvin’s talk with Frazier got him back to practice along with an expectation that Harvin would be on the field when training camp begins July 26.
“Well, I think he wants the same thing that we want,” Frazier said. “We all want to bring a championship to Minnesota. He wants that in the worst way, and that’s one of the most important things, that we all want the same thing.”
Frazier said he would have further communication with Harvin. “It won’t be out of the norm,” Frazier said. “Other than the fact that he was absent yesterday. But that should be behind us. We’re moving forward.”
Perhaps surprising is that Harvin took full part in practice despite having had shoulder surgery in April. The fact that it was a no-pads, no-hitting practice helped. And Harvin seemed very engaged in the process.
Quarterback Christian Ponder was as surprised as the rest of the team by the Harvin news this week.
“We know that Percy is a heck of a player, and we like being around him, and he’s been out here practicing like nothing’s wrong,” Ponder said. “He still cares about being here. We talked right before practice about getting together the next couple weeks in Florida.”
So all, for now, seems well.
“We still have a good relationship,” Frazier said of Harvin. “I mean, there will always be things you have to work through. I think that will always be the case with players and coaches.”
©2012 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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