Percy Harvin is hinting at holding out to start the 2012 season. He won't say whether or not it's about his contract, and it might not be about his contract, but yeah, it's probably about his contract. Harvin is unhappy. He has "issues" with his current situation, and if the issues aren't resolved he might not be at training camp.
Harvin has a well-documented history of migraines that has caused him to miss a number of practices and even a couple games. If he does hold out for an extended period of time, it could cause headaches for the entire Minnesota Vikings franchise.
The Vikings seemingly have nowhere to go but up after a dismal 3-13 season; that uphill climb might seem more like scaling K2 if one of their marquee players is absent from critical team activities.
If Harvin isn't in Mankato when the Vikings start training camp, the effect on his play should be pretty low on the team's list of concerns. Not to go all Allen Iverson on you, but we are talkin' 'bout practice, man. Harvin has missed more practice than any other star player during his short NFL tenure, but it has rarely affected his performance on game days. Injuries, family issues, the aforementioned migraines--nothing seems to distract Harvin when he finally gets between the white lines.
But it can still affect everyone else.
Nobody can deny that Harvin is one of the league's most dynamic players, but all too often he's one of the most distracting. Urban Meyer was accused of favoritism for Harvin and other star players when Percy played under Meyer at the University of Florida--how many more incidents without serious repercussion can occur in Minnesota before Leslie Frazier is accused of the same? If Harvin isn't on the field and working hard, will the two rookie wide receivers that the Vikings drafted think they can get away with being aloof as well? Everything about the size, speed, and versatility of Jarius Wright screams "Percy Harvin Lite"--wouldn't he be missing out on a golden learning opportunity if Harvin isn't around to mentor him?
Of course, all of these questions are just questions for now--Harvin isn't actually holding out yet and he hasn't missed any team activities yet. Frazier believes that Harvin will be in camp. And the flip side of Harvin missing all of those practices means that he fought through a lot of injuries to perform at a very high level on Sundays. He's an immense talent that has outperformed his rookie contract thus far. If he keeps playing like he has, he'll command quite a ransom if the Vikings allow him to become a free agent instead of offering him the contract extension he most likely desires.
If the Vikings hope to improve this year, they'd be wise to remedy this latest Harvin headache sooner rather than later.