The drama between the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson continues, with the team trying to make him feel wanted again, while the All-Pro running back, who still hasn’t been fully reinstated, is still weighing his options.
What is the problem? The Vikings want Peterson to stay on the team, but didn’t exactly support him in the way he would have liked during the time when allegations of him beating his children surfaced. Peterson himself feels uneasy about coming back to the Vikings, and feels that the team isn’t going to force him to come back if he decides to play for someone else eventually, pushing for a release or a trade. Peterson is signed through the 2017 season and is the best-paid running back in the NFL.
The Vikings are sending Mike Zimmer (head coach) and Rick Spielman (general manager) to try and convince Peterson to stick around with the Vikings, the only team he has played for since entering the league in 2007. While this might mean Peterson is keeping it an open option to return to the Vikings, it could be that he’s only doing this out of respect for Zimmer, who was his strongest supporter through the whole process.
And the fans? Most seem to want him back, but there’s this to remember: The Vikings pay loyalty to sponsors and the taxpayers of the state, not one player, as good, successful and appealing (or at least used to be) as he may be. I’m not sure they had the option of handling the situation that evolved before their eyes any differently. Maybe Peterson feels like he was betrayed, but one player is never bigger than the entire team or community.
Peterson was able to play just one game last season under Zimmer before the story broke out. Since 2007, he has led the league in rushing twice, including surpassing 2000 yards in 2012, winning the MVP. He followed up that year by rushing for 1266 yards, and has gotten past the 1200 yards per season mark whenever he has played 13 games or more. He has made the Pro Bowl game six times and the first team All-Pro three times.