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NFL Roundup: Vikes' Harvin unhappy, Jags' Stroud retires

The SportsXchange

Wide receiver Percy Harvin went from an unhappy camper at Vikings minicamp Tuesday to asking for a trade out of Minnesota.

Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com said the 24-year-old requested a trade one day after saying he was "not happy" with many issues, without going into detail.

Harvin said he wouldn't practice until the issues were resolved, but he did individual drills.

Harvin is a premium playmaker at a position at which the Vikings are perilously thin. Other than running back Adrian Peterson, no player is as essential to the success of the offense and quarterback Christian Ponder in 2012.

The Vikings have concerns about Harvin's durability, stemming mostly from his history of migraine headaches, and he has clashed with coaches in the past -- including Brad Childress and members of the Florida coaching staff. Harvin also had two failed drug tests on his record before he entered the NFL, which caused some teams to cross Harvin off their draft boards.

Harvin has two years remaining on his rookie contract worth a total of $2.65 million. He's coming off of shoulder surgery in the offseason.

"I won't get into specific issues, but we're here and hopefully we'll get things worked out, and go from there," Harvin said Tuesday. "We kind of keep everything in-house. If specific people choose to tell you the stories, then they do. I keep everything in-house and we deal with stuff in-house."

The Vikings signed Jerome Simpson in free agency. He's likely to be the team's No. 2 receiver but must serve a three-game suspension to begin the season.

Said coach Leslie Frazier: "He and I will talk some more, but it's something we'll talk through. It's not something that can't be handled. It's not something that we can't talk through, not at all."

Harvin practiced once during the second week of organized team activities after spending the first week doing conditioning exercises as part of his rehab from shoulder surgery.

--Lions defensive end Cliff Avril appeared as a studio guest on NFL Network and said he prefers not to play under the franchise tag but didn't offer any hints on his plans for training camp.

Avril said talks with the Lions geared toward a long-term contract continue. The deadline to sign a long-term deal for franchise players in July 16. Otherwise, Avril's one-year, $10.6 million franchise tender will apply.

"Yeah, we're talking," he said. "We're still trying to get things figured out before camp. I want to be there long-term. I want to get a deal done. I don't want to play under the franchise tag."

Avril didn't take exception to general manager Martin Mayhew's recent comments boosting third-year defensive end Willie Young as an adequate fill-in if Avril should opt for a holdout into preseason and beyond.

"I think Willie's a good player," Avril said. "Don't get me wrong, I definitely feel like he's a heck of a player and he's playing good right now. But I didn't expect the spot to be given to me anyways."

Avril, 26, has 19.5 sacks the past two seasons and forced six fumbles in 2011. He was a rookie on the Lions' winless team in 2008 and helped take the team to the postseason last year.

"I've been with this team for four, going on five years; started off a little shaky, 0-16," he said. "I want to be with the team when we make the Super Bowl run."

Cardinals' linebacker Clark Haggans issued a statement to clarify the circumstances surrounding his short jail term.

Haggans, 35, was incarcerated at Westmoreland County Prison in Greensburg, Pa., to serve a sentence for a traffic offense the veteran says occurred April 21 when he left a concert to tend to a family emergency involving his young daughter.

"I was at a concert with my wife when I got a call from our babysitter that our 5-year-old daughter was having trouble breathing," Haggans' statement reads. "She has been on medicine and inhalers since she was born because of her underdeveloped lungs. The sitter was panicked. I had been drinking and my wife was planning on driving home from the concert. But my wife was wandering around when I got the call, and I couldn't find her. I tried calling her within the concert, but had no luck getting a hold of her. I needed to get home to my daughter immediately."

Haggans said in the statement that his "only choice was to drive home."

"While driving home, I sped and ran a red light, so I was pulled over," the statement said. "I, along with the officers, proceeded to my house and administered the treatment and my daughter responded.

In spite of the circumstances, I was issued a citation for two moving violations and suspicion of driving under the influence."

Haggans said the agreement with the district attorney's office required a 48-hour jail sentence plus seven additional nights in jail as restitution for his "choices."

"In hindsight, I should have found another way home," he wrote, "and I take full responsibility for my actions."

Haggans signed a one-year deal to return to the Cardinals in the offseason. He played for the Steelers before signing with Arizona in free agency in 2008.

Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud retired as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday.

Stroud was the 13th overall pick in the 2001 and formed a fearsome defensive tackle duo with John Henderson in Jacksonville. Stroud was traded to the Buffalo Bills in 2008 after three Pro Bowl selections.

Stroud hasn't played in the NFL since 2010. He was released by the Bills at the end of that season and signed with the Patriots only to be let go before the start of training camp last summer.

Plaxico Burress caught eight touchdown passes with the Jets last season in a successful return to the league after almost two years in prison.

An unsigned free agent, Burress believes he can still produce, and wouldn't mind hearing from the Carolina Panthers. He has several family members in the area and is from Norfolk, Va.

"Not just that, but playing with Cam (Newton), who I think is one of the top five quarterbacks in all of football," Burress told WFNZ in Charlotte. "And as long as I can remember Steve Smith has been one of my favorites. I just think it's a great situation."

Burress said in February he would be open to re-signing with the Giants, but the team denied any interest even after Hakeem Nicks (foot) was injured in offseason workouts. He also said the Eagles were a team he hoped to play for, but Philadelphia plans to again feature DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.

With training camp about a month away and Burress two months from his 35th birthday, there might not be a match barring injury or contract issues involving currently rostered players.

Want to know where every player aligned on every play of every NFL game this season? The league has a package for that.

NFL.com will carry the "coaches' film" or blimp view camera angle for every regular-season game played in 2012 as part of the league's "Game Rewind" package. It will be available for full season subscription for $69.99 this season for the first time ever.

The NFL said the "All-22" angle was made available because passionate fans were clamoring for it.

It's the preferred camera angle used by scouts, coaches and league personnel in evaluating players, formations and team tendencies -- such as blocking schemes, play-calling charts and statistical analysis, including team-tracked tackle totals.

The video is edited to show only the play, with timeouts, commercials and pre-snap huddles and distance measurements edited out.

Games will be available after the completion of all games in a given week during the regular season.

The Eagles found needed veteran depth at safety on Wednesday, finalizing a one-year contract with veteran O.J. Atogwe.

The former Rams and Redskins safety, released by Washington after the 2011 season in which he was demoted, joins the Eagles as a versatile backup who can step in if projected starters Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman don't hold up. Both were demoted at points in the '11 season and Jaiquawn Jarrett was often a liability when he was on the field.

Atogwe had 22 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles in six seasons with the Rams but started only seven games with the Redskins because of a persistent hamstring injury. He was eventually replaced in the lineup.

The Eagles had pursued former Dolphins' safety Yeremiah Bell, who signed a deal similar to what the Eagles offered with the Jets.

Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt will release a statement Wednesday adamantly denying he pledged money to the bounty pool for any game, including the 2010 NFC Championship.

According to a statement first published by ESPN, Vitt vehemently denies the NFL's charge that Vitt pledged $5,000 as a bounty in a large pool worth $35,000. The target was then-Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.

The league claimed Monday to have corroborating evidence and a handwritten ledger, including Vitt's name and the $5,000 pledge, was entered as evidence in the appeal hearing for four suspended players alleged to be participants in the bounty scandal.

"In recent information released by the National Football League to the NFLPA and later to the media, there is an allegation made against me that is completely untrue and I cannot let it go unchallenged," Vitt said in the statement. "I did not pledge any money for any type of incentive program whatsoever pertaining to the 2010 NFC Championship Game.

"Furthermore, I have never at any time pledged any money for any type of incentive program or so called bounty program. Today (Wednesday) I had a conversation with Commissioner Goodell and I stated to him that I would sign a sworn affidavit to this effect or I would make myself available to take a lie detector test to rectify this matter."

Vitt's statement also stated that he remains committed to helping Goodell find new ways and practices to make the game safer, but said players never "crossed the white line with the intent to injure."

"I am proud of our players and stand behind them 100 percent and will do whatever I can to help them restore their good names," Vitt said.

The San Francisco 49ers can now get down to real business for the upcoming 2012 season, as they completed signing all seven of their picks in April's college draft.

The final piece of the puzzle came about Wednesday when the 49ers announced that they had signed University of Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins to a four-year agreement. Terms were not disclosed.

The 6-0, 192-pound Jenkins was the 49ers' top pick in the draft, being chosen 30th overall. He played in 46 games, including 26 starts, for the Fighting Illini and left as the third-best receiver in school history.

Jenkins pulled in 167 passes for 2,432 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. He also had 33 kickoff returns for 773 yards and one TD. In addition, Jenkins was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection for academic excellence off the football field.

The Jacksonville, Fla., native had an outstanding senior season, starting 12 of 13 games, grabbed 90 passes for 1,276 yards, and tallied eight touchdowns, making him only the second player in Illini history to have 90 or more receptions in a single season.

In addition, his 1,276 receiving yards were the second-highest single-season total in school history. The First-Team All-Big Ten and honorable-mention All-America honoree led the conference with an average of 6.92 receptions per game.
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