By Scott Taylor
Adrian Peterson’s agent says the future Hall of Fame runningback doesn’t want to play for the Minnesota Vikings anymore. He night be talking to the hand.
Minnesota Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf says the team can’t wait to get AP “back out onto the field with his teammates.”
AP has a contract to play for the Vikings that will pay him $13 million next year. AP should probably put on his big boy pants, collect more money than people who are actually important and just play football in a purple uniform.
One senses, however, that the on-going saga of one of the great runningbacks in NFL history is not going to sort itself out anytime soon.
Ben Dogra, the agent for Peterson told USA Today at the NFL meetings at the Biltmore in Phoenix, that he and AP “want out of Minnesota.” Dogra and Peterson are likely quite sincere. They just aren’t very bright.
We are at this point because Peterson beat the living crap out of his four-year-old son. In the state of Texas, where the incident took place, Peterson was arrested and charged with assault. He eventually copped a plea deal and was sentenced to a form of probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault for using a wooden switch to discipline his boy.
From that moment forward things got complicated. He remained suspended by the NFL, the Vikings found themselves in the midst of a public relations nightmare and the team’s now CEO Kevin warren suggested publicly that Peterson’s future in Minnesota was being seriously considered.
Peterson, of course, didn’t appreciate or understand any of that, blamed the Vikings, not himself or the NFL for his problems, and has decided that he’d rather play elsewhere. It should be noted that he wasn’t charged in Minnesota nor did he have his day in court in Minnesota. It should also be noted that the league, not the Vikings, suspended him. Heck, the Vikings tried to reinstate him a week after he’d been charged with child abuse.
Still, in the minds of Dogra and Peterson, the runningback was somehow not given complete support by the football club and therefore he feels it’s time to go. One of the places he wants to go is Dallas. That’s in the state that charged him and forced him into court and ultimately a conviction in the court of public opinion, but apparently that’s OK for Dogra and Peterson. Something doesn’t add up here.
Fact is, Dogra recently told ESPN: “I don’t think it’s in Adrian’s best interest to play in Minnesota. Why would it be?”
I can think of plenty of reasons why but obviously the Peterson Camp isn’t listening to anyone.
Then again, the Peterson camp has no real control over its immediate future. AP is under contract to the Vikings until 2017. All Dogra can do is whine loudly about Adrian having no desire to play in Minnesota and hope the Vikings trade him.
They should trade him to Oakland or Jacksonville. A couple of three-win seasons with no offensive line in front of him might let him know how great he had it in Minnesota.
Coach Mike Zimmer, general manager Rick Spielman and the Wilfs have made it very clear, at least publicly, that they want Peterson to play for the Vikings in 2015. They believe, as most fans have, that Peterson did his time and paid his debt to society and he should return to “his” team.
In fact, it has become apparent over the past few days that the Vikings brass is not going to cut Peterson and they don’t seem to be in any hurry to trade him.
“Adrian is a member of our football team. He is under contract,” Spielman told ESPN.com. “We are focused on the 2015 season and expect Adrian to be a part of that. Our whole focus is getting ready for the season with Adrian.”
With Peterson, the Vikings should be pretty good in 2015. Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater proved he could handle the daily grind and constant pressure of the NFL, the club acquired wide receiver Mike Wallace, they re-signed Matt Asiata and signed RB DuJuan Harris. Otherwise, they didn’t lose anyone deemed to be important and should be reasonably stable heading into camp.
So as the Peterson camp whines and struts around like a pair of eight-year-olds, the Vikings, who have all the leverage, will likely just sit back and see what happens. Either someone is going to make an offer that Spielman can’t refuse or Peterson is going to be a Viking. I just don’t see a 30-year-old runningback sitting out another season when he could be making $13 million while taking a few more strides toward Canton.
Then again, I’ve been wrong before when it comes to these guys. They all think their bullet proof – even at 30 – and maybe $13 million isn’t that important.
If Dogra is as smart as I suspect, then in the end, Adrian Peterson should probably just suck it up go out and have another great season in Minnesota. Of course, none of these guys is ever as smart as you’d hope.