Harvin gives back
It's no secret that Percy Harvin slid to the Vikings with the No. 22 pick in the NFL Draft last spring mostly because of perceived character and off-the-field issues. But early indications are looking good in that the young rookie intends to have nothing but a positive influence in the community.
According to this Gainesville Sun story, Vikings rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin spent his Friday night with patients, family and friends at Gainesville's Ronald McDonald House, where he helped serve Sonny's Bar-B-Q feast of coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, garlic bread, chicken, beef and salad to about 20 people staying at the house.
"He's just always had a big heart," his mother, Linda Harvin Little, said. "He has a heart for giving."
Harvin is expected to leave Gainesville for the Twin Cities on Monday in anticipation of getting a contract hammered out hopefully in time to report for training camp in Mankato next weekend.
A friend of Harvin's, Katie Plageman, a University of Florida telecommunications graduate, said that Harvin wanted to help sick children and their families after seeing a TV commercial for the Ronald McDonald House.
"He wants to do something small and manageable before the season starts, and from there he wants to get a lot more involved," Plageman said.
Harvin reportedly hopes to continue assisting children's charities in Gainesville as well as the Twin Cities, and in Virginia, where he went to high school.
Former Vikings finding work in CFL
It's not uncommon for players who can't quite ever make it in the NFL to eventually land steady work north of the border in the Canadian Football League.
There are currently seven players who spent at least a year or more with the Vikings in one capacity or another who are earning their keep these days in the CFL.
Cornerback Dovonte Edwards, who originally signed with the Vikings as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2005, has collected 7 tackles in four games for the Toronto Argonauts. Edwards was perhaps best known for intercepting a Brett Favre pass and returning it 51 yards for a touchdown on Monday Night Football in 2005. He spent two full seasons in Minnesota and also time with the Lions and Giants in the NFL.
Wide receiver Maurice Mann, who was active for a handful of games with the Viking sin 2006, is currently third the CFL in receiving yards after three games as he's caught 17-277-1 (16.3 avg.) for the Eskimos. Mann also spent NFL time with Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, Seattle and Washington.
Running back Arkee Whitlock, who spent time with Minnesota in 2006 and 2007, recently earned his first start for the Edmonton Eskimos subbing for an injured Jesse Lumsden. He was held to just 29 yards on 12 carries, dropped two potential touchdown passes in the endzone and also lost a fumble. But he also scored a touchdown. His year-to-date stats include rushing 18-68-1 (3.8 avg.) and he's caught 6-37.
Running back Ciatrick Fason, a fourth-round pick by the Vikings in 2005, is currently on the practice squad with Edmonton. Fason rushed 50-161-5 in two seasons with the Vikings.
Linebacker Rod Davis, a fifth-round draft pick by the Vikings in 2004, has played sparingly, seeing action mostly on special teams for Edmonton. Davis spent most of three seasons (2004-06) in Minnesota.
Punter Eddie Johnson, who was the team's punter as a rookie in 2003, is currently on the injured list with Toronto. Johnson spent time with the Bengals, Giants, Jaguars, Redskins, Broncos and Lions before landing in Toronto now.
Wide receiver Chris Jones, who spent the 2005 NFL season on the practice squad with the Vikings, has seen action in three games for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and has caught 4 passes for 22 yards.