Unhappy about being owed just $1.55 million in base salary for the 2012 season, the contract of wide receiver Percy Harvin remains an extremely touchy subject for the Minnesota Vikings' organization heading into the heart of summer.
The stir he created last month by demanding a trade and then skipping a practice doesn't appear likely to fade away anytime soon, and the 24-year-old Harvin has already done a masterful job of demonstrating his immaturity to decision-makers around the league with his actions. An unnamed NFL executive spoke rather candidly about Harvin's situation with Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com, noting above all that the developments hardly come as a shock.
"There wasn't just one issue or two issues at Florida," the executive said. "Anybody that took Percy Harvin knew that these behavioral instincts and the management and maintenance of the player -- they were all there."
While there's no question about the type of impact that Harvin can have on the field when he's healthy, Minnesota needs to decide if he's fully worth the immense distraction that will inevitably nag this football team all season. As a player who struggles with injuries on a game-to-game basis, many are correct to wonder if the former Florida standout will ever truly become the elite, No. 1 receiver he was billed to be coming out of college.
Tossing a bunch of money at Harvin in an effort to keep him in Minnesota though, seems like a dangerous proposition for the Vikings' organization. One NFL team will ultimately open up its checkbook and lock Harvin down, but it will certainly come with a risk. "That's what I think it comes down to," said the NFL executive, "that if this guy does get a payday, contractual structure, protecting the downside of the club, the character risk involved -- all those things may come into effect."
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