Minnesota Vikings NFL football wide receiver Percy Harvin tells reporters he is upset with the team after he participated in a walkthrough practice during the first day of minicamp, Tuesday, June 19, 2012, in Eden Prairie, Minn. Harvin did not elaborate on details. Coach Leslie Frazier says he has talked with Harvin and plans to have more in-depth conversations. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Star receiver Percy Harvin wants out of Minnesota.
One day after expressing frustration over several unspecified issues with the Vikings, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Harvin has requested a trade. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Harvin voiced frustration with the Vikings on Tuesday at the first day of mandatory minicamp. He did not say what his specific issues were with the team, only saying that he was unhappy with several things and wanted them 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 Tuesday. “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.”
Given Harvin’s status as a 24-year-old rising star and one of the team’s top players, the request is unlikely to be granted. Coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday that he was confident any issues Harvin had could be resolved well before training camp.
“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.”
Harvin, who is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, worked out with the team during an afternoon practice Tuesday and said later in the day that he did not want to be a distraction and would only wanted to talk about football issues.
He has two years left on his rookie contract, but it was not immediately clear how much that had to do with his displeasure, if at all. The Vikings are coming off of consecutive last-place finishes in the NFC North and have entered a rebuilding phase centered on Harvin, Peterson, who is recovering from a torn ACL, and second-year quarterback Christian Ponder.
Harvin was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2009 and has quickly emerged as perhaps the team’s most versatile and dynamic player. He is the team’s only proven commodity at receiver heading into his fourth season and is coming off a year in which he posted career highs in receptions (87), yards (967) and total touchdowns with nine.
Harvin has shown the ability to play in the slot as an inside receiver, on the perimeter as a deep threat and has become one of the most dangerous kick returners in the league. He also rushed for 345 yards last season, helping to spell Adrian Peterson in the run game.
Migraine headaches and a few other bumps and bruises from Harvin’s physical and punishing style of play led to some concerns about his durability, especially in his first two seasons. But Harvin played in all 16 games last year while fighting a painful rib injury and became a respected veteran in the locker room.
Requesting a trade now would be a curious move if he does want a new contract, with the normal protocol for similar situations being to holdout from training camp to spur negotiations.
Earlier this offseason, Harvin pledged to be a team leader and showed up at several voluntary practices despite still recovering from having bone chips removed from his shoulder. With a receiver corps that includes rookie fourth-rounders Greg Childs and Jarius Wright and unproven veteran Jerome Simpson, who will be suspended for the first three games, Harvin is the only proven game-breaker at the position for the Vikings.
“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.”