According to ESPN.com, general manager Rick Spielman has not spoken to Adrian Peterson or his representatives yet. The team has until March 9 — the beginning of the league year — to do so, or else allow him to play the 2017 season on an outrageous $18 million salary. That will not happen.
Until an amenable solution is reached — a release or a re-worked contract — we will hear more quotes like this:
“Adrian Peterson has a significant contract coming up. We have to make a decision,” Spielman said. “I’m not going to announce anything, but that will get addressed here before free agency starts. The one thing I will say is, if we don’t exercise that option, we will always keep the door open on all of our players. But in my mind, regardless if Adrian is here or not here next year — because of whatever happens — he will always be a Minnesota Viking. If he’s fortunate enough to go in the Hall of Fame, and fortunate enough to go in the Ring of Honor, in my mind, he’s a Minnesota Viking.”
We don’t necessarily blame Spielman for the banal platitudes here. It would be very much against his best interest to tip the organization’s hand before an undoubtedly emotional negotiation with the best player in recent franchise history.
This might be the only offseason storyline tired enough to rival Tony Romo’s future. Everyone knows the Vikings will not pay that much money for Peterson but would like to keep him there. Everyone knows Peterson is coming off a knee injury that forced him to miss all but three games last season so he does not have the bargaining power. Everyone knows Peterson is about to turn 32, which is up there for a player at his position. Time will tell what happens, but for now we’ll be subjected to the same, bland game of ping pong both sides have been playing for weeks.