Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin took part in practice Wednesday… (Jim Mone / Associated Press )
Writers from around Tribune Co. are discussing Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has reportedly asked to be traded and was not present for the team's mandatory mini-camp practice Wednesday afternoon.
[Updated, 11:53 a.m. June 21: Harvin returned to the field after a brief absence Thursday afternoon and took part in all the drills.]
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Vaughn McClure, Chicago Tribune
Perry Harvin finished 33 yards short of 1,000 receiving yards last season. He averaged 32.5 yards per kickoff return, which would have led the league had he had more than 15 returns. Not to mention Harvin averaged 6.6 yards on 52 rushing attempts. He could be arguably the most valuable offensive piece of the rebuilding Vikings this season, with Adrian Peterson coming off a serious knee injury.
It's no wonder general manager Rick Spielman said the team has no interest in trading Harvin. The Vikings should maintain their stance regardless of what seems to be eating at the former first-rounder. Money doesn't appear the root of the problem, but a raise might soothe some of Harvin's pain. And with a young, inexperienced quarterback running the show, the Vikings shouldn't even Ponder parting ways with a top weapon -- unless they're offered multiple high draft picks in return.
Omar Kelly, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Stop the presses! A disgruntled diva receiver wants to be traded. Anyone surprised Percy Harvin needs a new pacifier?
What should the Vikings do to make this former University of Florida standout happy in 2012? Maybe Christian Ponder, a Florida State alum, needs to promise his college rival 90 catches. Perhaps General Manager Rick Spielman needs to offer Harvin a new, lucrative multi-year contract. Or Harvin will force his way out of Minnesota by throwing consistent tantrums, and sitting out of practices claiming he's suffering from migraines. Cave now and when does it end?
The Minnesota Vikings should ignore Harvin's demands and focus on players who buy into the team-first approach. Giving in to a player's trade demands is a sign of weak management, and that's the last thing the Vikings need.
[Updated at 1:08 p.m.:
Gary R. Blockus, Allentown Morning Call
The multi-threat Harvin claims there is no contract issue, so what's the beef? If you're not going to talk, then don't squawk. Teams have sat disgruntled players before, and if the talented 24-year-old Harvin continues to make waves, there are all sorts of creative ways to deactivate him or let him waste the season.
He hasn't pulled a Terrell Owens yet and called out anyone on the team or done sit-ups on his lawn for reporters, but Vikings Coach Leslie Frazier can't afford to have Harvin pull a DeSean Jackson and under-perform in games in order to remain healthy. Harvin, the team's leading receiver last season, has gone from gung-ho about OTAs to missing several of them. That he proceeded to be a no-show for a mandatory session this week, even though he returned to practice on Thursday, is alarming.
In the NFL, players rarely force trades. If they try, they usually end up losing what they love most, which is playing the game.]