We suggested on Thursday that receiver Percy Harvin, the Vikings’ first-round draft pick who has yet to sign a contract, enjoys added leverage in his negotiations with the team.
Coach Brad Childress has done nothing to reverse that perception, projecting a hint of exasperation and/or desperation regarding Harvin’s absence as the first day of practice approaches.
“You hate to see players miss, because those reps are vital, those
meetings are vital,” Childress said Thursday. “We go at a very rapid pace here, and we
usually don’t go back and start to re-do those things. There are
building blocks that have to go along the way. . . . You just want things
to be rote. You don’t want guys to have to think. I just think it’s
vital that draft picks get in and practice so they can progress.”
And by “progress,” Childress means “save me from getting fired.”
As we understand it, the Vikes have big plans for Harvin in 2009 — and Harvin knows it. And in the immediate aftermath of the Brett Favre fiasco, signing Harvin would help to change the atmosphere in Mankato — and Harvin knows it.
Through it all, Childress is embarking on the most important season of his coaching career — and Harvin knows it.
So even with the high and the low of the slotting system set by the contracts paid to the players drafted just before and just after the 22nd pick, Harvin is in a position to put his thumb on the scale — and the Vikings know it.