Friday, July 26, 2013
Percy Harvin's past relevant for now
By Mike Sando
There was relatively little reaction Thursday when the Seattle Seahawks placed starters Chris Clemons and Zach Miller on their physically unable to perform (PUP) list to open training camp. Percy Harvin's presence on the list stirred up the NFL for reasons stemming in part from the wide receiver's sometimes stormy tenure with the Minnesota Vikings.
NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert captured that dynamic Friday when asking whether Harvin's ailment was merely "camp hip" -- an injury Harvin might be using to manage training camp on his terms before suddenly clearing himself when the timing suited him.
"Harvin observers weren't at all surprised to hear that a potentially significant injury popped up out of nowhere on the first day of training camp," Seifert wrote, noting that Harvin has frequently missed practices for a variety of reasons. "It goes back to what we've always said about Harvin: Weird things always seem to happen around him."
Harvin and former Vikings coach Brad Childress clashed years ago when Harvin cited an ankle injury for missed practice time while refusing Childress' request to undergo an MRI exam. Those types of issues explained why the Viking weren't willing to invest in a second contract for Harvin.
The Seahawks are now in a position where they've invested more in Harvin than they've invested in any other player on the team. That commitment puts Harvin in a strong position. The team doesn't hold a hammer over him the way it has held one over other players.
Harvin is 25 years old and among the most dynamic players in the NFL. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, asked in March why the team would trade such a player, paused and said he would save the details for his memoirs. He was basically saying the relationship between Harvin and the Viking was complicated and ultimately unsustainable.
For all we know, Harvin could begin practicing in a couple days and never miss time because of the hip. He could adopt the practice mindset that has turned Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas and other franchise building blocks into team leaders at young ages. Until that happens, Harvin's strange history with the Vikings will have to suffice as our point of reference.