April 22 is the first day of the Vikings offseason workouts at Winter Park and rest assured Percy Harvin won’t be there.
There has been a lot of speculation about Harvin’s future with the Vikings, and the wide receiver has refused to comment about the different reports.
However, the latest word from some good sources around the NFL is that Harvin, who missed the final seven regular-season games as well as the playoff game because of a serious ankle injury, has told the Vikings that he doesn’t want to play for them and wants to be traded.
Harvin’s relationship with the Vikings has been much-discussed, including rumors that he isn’t pleased with the coaches’ plans for him on offense and that he does not get along with the medical staff. Quite simply, it seemed as though Harvin wasn’t happy here, and that was made obvious when he didn’t hang around the team during the late-season push toward the playoffs while he rehabbed his ankle.
However, Harvin is signed through this year, and the Vikings currently are $16 million under the NFL salary cap of $123 million. So they have the resources to give him some money if his salary is the problem.
Harvin, who despite missing those final seven games still led the team with 62 receptions and 677 receiving yards while scoring five touchdowns, made $2,782,500 this past season with incentives.
Harvin, still playing under the five-year contract he signed after being drafted 22nd overall in 2009, can become a free agent after the season, but the Vikings can retain his services by making him a franchise player next season and the following season. A wide receiver who was made a franchise player during the 2012 season would have earned $10.25 million.
Rick Spielman, the Vikings general manager, has made it clear that the club won’t trade Harvin. So the Vikings are in the driver’s seat as far as keeping him for the next three seasons.
But if the wide receiver truly doesn’t want to play here, it will be interesting to see how the Vikings get him in a good frame of mind for next season.
Vikings in London
Spielman, Vikings Vice President Rob Brzezinski and team Director of Operations Luther Hippe spent two days in London recently getting things ready for the appearance of the team in England this fall. The game against the Steelers is sold out, with 90,000 fans expected to attend at Wembley Stadium.
Meanwhile, as for the upcoming draft, Vikings Director of College Scouting Scott Studwell said he is convinced that with the 23rd pick the team will get a quality player.
“It should be a good player, better be a good player there. You know?” he said. “I mean, the class of juniors that came out is a very talented group of players, so they’re going to push some of the seniors down and add to the depth of the draft and make the first three rounds a lot stronger. There should be good players all the way through, hopefully.”
Gophers will finish ninth
With Trevor Mbakwe sitting on the bench for most of the first half because of foul trouble and Purdue shooting the lights out, the Gophers fell behind by 17 points at halftime and couldn’t come all the way back Saturday, losing 89-73 to the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Ind.
Purdue shot 54.2 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from three-point range, so while the Gophers cut what was at one time a 21-point deficit to seven in the second half, they couldn’t complete the comeback.
Now, no matter the result of the Illinois-Ohio State game Sunday, the Gophers will finish in ninth place in the Big Ten Conference standings because of their 1-2 record against Purdue and Illinois, which is used to determine a three-way tiebreaker in record. They will face one of those two teams in the 8-9 game of the first round of the Big Ten tournament at 11 a.m. Thursday in Chicago.
The University of Minnesota athletic department has a company studying what new or remodeled facilities the school needs, and if new ones are needed, where they should be built.
The new facilities include the much-needed basketball practice building, which in the past had been planned to be built near Williams Arena. However, now one of the sites being talked about for the basketball facility and other new ones is the current site for the outdoor track behind the Bierman Building and the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex. In favor of that site is the fact that there is a lot of space available.
One of the sites talked about for a new track would be on the farm campus, where room is available. Another reason to move the track is that the cost of modernizing the present track is $10 million.