Following up on the ongoing story
. ... Harvin is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract and has no intention of playing out the fifth without a new deal. That means the Vikings -- and perhaps the rest of the NFL -- must decide sooner than later how much of a chance they're willing to take for the services of one of the game's premier slot players. Reported by 1500ESPN.com
Though Harvin has made clear he expects a new deal after this season, several NFL sources have reported that Harvin's recent unhappiness didn't stem directly from his contract, and both sides have gone to great lengths to prevent the core of the issue from becoming public. According to 1500ESPN.com's Tom Pelissero, one possible factor in the team's silence is the HIPAA privacy rule, which the Vikings have used in the past to shield themselves from discussing a player's health issues -- and Harvin has had plenty, including the shoulder that sidelined him for much of the offseason after what he called a family matter delayed surgery to remove bone spurs. And while the Vikings clearly want to keep Harvin, the question is how much they'll play to do so. Last summer, the Vikings wanted to retain another receiver but never considered matching the $18.5 million in guarantees the Seattle Seahawks gave to Sidney Rice, whose own injury issues and deteriorating attitude towards the organization had raised red flags internally. Pelissero advised readers it's a given they'd look to tie Harvin's compensation heavily to performance in any renegotiation. ... So while the drama here doesn't seem imminent, there was certainly a week last month when it appeared to be. And with Harvin at the center of the issue, who knows when it might boil over again.