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He played in all 16 games last season, establishing himself as one of the game's top slot receivers and most dangerous kick returners.
"Percy is a phenomenal player on the field," Spielman said. "And you look at his statistics he had last year and how important he is to this franchise. He's a vital part of us moving forward with this team."
But somewhere between his appearance at team headquarters in May and his return to Minnesota this week, something went wrong for Harvin.
After making the NFC title game as a rookie, the Vikings have taken significant steps backward the last two seasons. They are centering their rebuild on Harvin; Peterson, who is recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee; and second-year quarterback Christian Ponder.
Harvin is far and away Ponder's best option in the receiver corps that includes non-descript veterans Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu, rookie fourth-round picks Jarius Wright and Greg Childs and Simpson, who will be suspended for the first three games this season after being arrested on drug charges while with the Cincinnati Bengals.
After signing tight end John Carlson from Seattle, there has been a lot of talk about the Vikings going to more two tight-end sets to take advantage of him and second-year tight end Kyle Rudolph. That could also be a concern for Harvin, but offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said he was unaware of any problems Harvin had with the playbook. Musgrave said he planned to get the ball to Harvin even more this season.
"We're looking forward to getting him on the field and as an offense we're looking forward to having a better year," Musgrave said. "That's the bottom line."
Peterson said he hadn't spoken to his friend about it but planned to have a conversation to try to help smooth things over.
"I wouldn't say it's distracting. It's more bothering. It's like, we definitely don't want to lose this guy. ... I'm sure the organization will do what it has to do to keep this guy around," Peterson said. "If it was me, I would make sure that we kept him around. But we'll see."
Frazier said the two sides have to get on the same page by the time the team reports to Mankato for camp on July 26.
"Hopefully, we'll be headed in the right direction when we get to training camp and everyone can focus on getting ready for the Jacksonville game," Frazier said. "That's the way it has to be. We can't afford any outside distractions."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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