Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman walked into a room Friday filled with reporters, explained that he had been in NFL draft meetings all week and jokingly asked if anything had happened since Monday.
Laughter was followed by roughly 20 minutes of conversation about the draft and next week's NFL scouting combine. Then the conversation shifted to the two biggest Vikings topics this week. The two things Spielman was alluding to when he entered:
First, the rampant trade rumors involving Percy Harvin and whether Spielman will entertain offers for the team's mercurial receiver when other teams come calling next week?
"We have no intent of trading Percy Harvin," Spielman said. "Percy Harvin is under contract and we expect him, just like all of our players under contract, to be here. He is a very good football player."
Second, why the Vikings chose to exercise a one-year contract option through 2014 for head coach Leslie Frazier rather than give him a multiyear extension?
"Leslie has done an outstanding job here," Spielman said. "He's been a great leader. We expect him to be our coach for a long time. Anything from a contractual standpoint will always be held internal, just like players."
This is known about Harvin's contract. He is due to make $2.9 million in the final year of his rookie contract, but is seeking the kind of lucrative long-term extension that the Vikings have given other core players heading into the final year of their rookie deals. Whether Harvin and the Vikings can agree on compensation remains to be seen. Finding a meeting point that satisfies Harvin and protects the Vikings against an injury-prone player who has clashed at times with the coaching staff won't be easy.
Clouding the situation are the rumors that have taken on a life of their own nationally. They've included reports citing unnamed sources saying that Harvin will be traded, that he'll hold out, that his complaints are with the Vikings' offense, etc., etc.
"I know there are a lot of sources, there's a lot of rumor," Spielman said. "There's so much stuff flying out there this time of year that comes from everywhere. I know where we stand. ... I would just say don't believe all the half-truths or the rumors or the no-truths that are out there."
Asked what he could say to clear things up, Spielman said, "Well, I'm not going to sit every time there's a report out there and clarify it. You can't just come out there and clarify every half-truth and every no-truth because there's so much of it."
As for Frazier's contract, Spielman was asked if he understood how exercising a one-year option could be perceived as only tepid support of the job Frazier has done.
"There's no question of the support that ownership, myself, and I think our whole organization has for Leslie Frazier," Spielman said. "Leslie Frazier is a very good head football coach in the National Football League. Look for him to be leading this team into the future."
Spielman also said he doesn't think Frazier will let his contract situation affect him.
"Not with Leslie Frazier," Spielman said. "I don't want to put words [in his mouth], but Leslie Frazier, if you know what type of character and what type of person he is and what he stands for."
Then how about Harvin. Is he upset with the Vikings' offense?
"I know [offensive coordinator] Bill Musgrave does a great job, I think, trying to get Percy the ball in his hands," Spielman said. "But I'll leave that between the coaches and Percy."
Assuming Harvin isn't traded, of course.