Harvin Agrees To Contract With Vikings

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) -- First-round draft pick Percy Harvin has agreed to terms on a five-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings, and the former Florida standout is expected to be ready for Sunday afternoon practice.

Harvin missed the first two days of training camp while his agent Joel Segal negotiated a contract. Segal said his client was ready to hit the field immediately.

Coach Brad Childress has said that it was important for Harvin, the 22nd overall pick in April's draft, to get into camp as soon as possible. He'll be asked to play a variety of roles for the Vikings, including wide receiver, running back and return man.

While many scouts and draft analysts said Harvin had top-10 talent, he slipped to the Vikings due to concerns about his durability and a failed drug test at the NFL combine.

Childress had some of the same concerns, so he flew to Florida and met personally with Harvin and his family before the draft. The coach came away impressed by his willingness to take responsibility for past mistakes and didn't hesitate to draft Harvin when the Vikings came on the clock.

The versatile playmaker is expected to complement Adrian Peterson in Minnesota's ramped-up offense. During minicamps earlier this summer, Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell began experimenting with their new toy. They lined up Harvin at receiver out wide, in the slot, and motioned him into the backfield on reverses and other running plays.

His arrival could also bring a version of the Wildcat offense to Minnesota. Harvin and Peterson in the same backfield would give the Vikings a dynamic element that's been missing since Childress took over in 2006.

Harvin also could bolster the team's mediocre return game. His quickness and ability to change directions in a heartbeat make him ideal for the job.


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