MANKATO — A day before the Vikings open training camp practice, first-round pick Percy Harvin remains without a contract.
However, with camps opening all around the NFL, deals with first-rounders are starting to get completed. So what are the odds Harvin arrives in Mankato in time for the Vikings’ first practice on Friday?
If you’re looking on the positive side, two of the first-rounders to sign so far are the guys directly ahead of and behind Harvin. That means Harvin, the 22nd pick in the first round, and his agent, Joel Segal, should have an idea of what type of salary slot Harvin will fall into. (Cleveland signed center Alex Mack, the 21st pick, on July 25 and Baltimore signed offensive tackle Michael Oher on Wednesday.) This also should help provide guidance for Rob Brzezinski, who handles contract negotiations for the Vikings.
One interesting thing will be if Segal tries to get Harvin more money based on the fact that many felt he had top-10 talent. I’m not sure that argument would work because the Vikings can always point out that Harvin fell to them because of concerns about his character.
Getting the Harvin deal completed ASAP is key because of the potential role he will have in the Vikings’ offense this season. The multi-talented Harvin is expected to line up at a variety of spots and will be the Vikings’ key component if and when they run the Wildcat offense.
All of this means Harvin is going to have plenty of learning to do when he does arrive. Keep in mind, too, that with the Brett Favre deciding to remain retired (for now) the Vikings are going to need to be looking for ways to generate excitement with their fan base.
Harvin showed a glimpse of his potential during OTA and minicamp practices and will get a chance to excite the masses for the next two weeks in Mankato. That could help the Vikings marketing department in putting the Favre situation behind them.
Of course before any of that happens Harvin needs to get on the field.