If it was up to Adrian Peterson and his agent, he would be already playing for another team, preparing for the new season. As of now, the Minnesota Vikings are refusing to give up on him.
The situation on the surface is simple. Peterson played just one game last season because of his domestic abuse allegations. He has a contract with the Vikings running through 2017. He doesn’t want to play for them anymore. The Vikings are refusing to release him, acting as if everything is normal, and they’re fully expecting him to be ready and on time for when the preparations for the 2015 season begin.
According to Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, it isn’t in his client’s best interest to remain with the Vikings. A co-owner of the franchise, Mark Wilf, sees it very differently: The bottom line is Adrian is an important part of the Minnesota Vikings. He’s represented us on and off the field. We’re getting ready for the 2015 season and we fully expect him to join his teammates and be a part of what we feel is going to be a great season ahead.
So what happens? It makes no sense for the Vikings to let him go. Peterson is the face of the franchise, slightly tarnished and again, but still an immensely popular figure among the fans. Peterson is also doing OK with head coach Mike Zimmer, who he sees as one of the few people from the organization that supported him through his troubles last year. He has also said he has no problem with the fans in Minnesota.
If released, the Vikings wouldn’t lose too much in dead money; just $2.4 million, saving $13 million in cap space. Peterson is a $15 million cap hit in 2016 and a $17 million in 2017. He’s 30, which is usually when running backs are already two or three seasons past their prime. Peterson didn’t get a chance to show us what he can do at 29, but he did have a fall off from his MVP 2012 season, and it’s to be expected that the Vikings won’t get their money’s worth from him even if he’s been training harder than anyone else for the last 12 months.
How does this end? It’s still hard to see. If the Vikings don’t give in to his demands, Peterson is likely going to sit out certain workout schedules and try to cause as much trouble as possible. He isn’t much of a trade bait because very few teams will take up his deal at his current age and give the Vikings anything for it. As far as Minnesota see it, they want whatever is left of his speed and strength before cutting him loose. Peterson wants to “spend” that ability on someone else.