No one was surprised when Adrian Peterson didn’t show for the Minnesota Vikings OTAs. However, it turns out this isn’t some ploy by the player and agent to force a trade, but simply a negotiating tactic to try and get more money and improve his contract.
If this is true, and according to a number of sources it’s all about money and nothing else, Peterson is very likely to play for the Vikings next season. Why would he actually want more money when he hasn’t played (except for one game) last season and he’s already going to be making over $15 million this season including the bonus money, $14.75 million next season and $16.75 million in 2017?
Well, it’s about guaranteed money, obviously. When Peterson signed his six-year contract for $86.28 million, he had only $20.25 million in guaranteed money. Sure, having over $30 million on paper in 2016 and 2017 is nice, but Peterson knows that running backs don’t usually get to see the end of their contracts, especially not at his age, and Peterson is past 30.
Peterson himself released a short statement: The reason I’m not attending OTAs has nothing to do with wanting to be traded. It’s about securing my future with the Vikings. It’s business, not personal and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings. Be it part of a negotiating tactic, an attempt to force the Vikings into trading him so they don’t have to pay him more money or something else, it has to be a pleasing signs for those Vikings fans worried about Peterson playing for them in 2015.
It’ll be interesting to see what Peterson has left to give. Following his historic 2012 season in which he ran for 2097 yards (2314 from scrimmage), Peterson showed a significant drop, as expected, rushing for only 1266 yards on 14 games, his average per game dropping by more than 40 yards. However, he didn’t fall apart completely and the bad numbers had something to do with how bad the Vikings’ passing game was, making it quite easy for teams to stack the box against him.
After record-breaking years running backs tend to disappear, and we’re probably not going to see Peterson carry the ball close to 300 times. However, he has shown that he can bounce back from serious injuries and remain fairly consistent even when he isn’t brilliant, rushing for over 1200 yards when he played 14 games or more in a season. If that remains his minimum, the Vikings shouldn’t be too disappointed, when they actually get him back into training.