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Report: A half-dozen teams have done background work on Adrian Peterson

adrian-peterson

Adrian Peterson definitely will be suiting up for an NFL team next season after missing all but one game last season due to his legal issues. It’s only a matter of which one.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that according to league sources, a half-dozen teams — by his count — reportedly have conducted some background work on Peterson on the off-chance he doesn’t return to the Minnesota Vikings next season, an eventuality that is a 50-50 proposition at best.

The Vikings have put on a united front and unequivocally stated the team hopes to have Peterson in the backfield next season. Both head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Speilman have gone on record to state as such. Zimmer said in December that he’ll be in Peterson’s corner when the time comes. Speilman added in January that he thinks Peterson is a “good person” who¬† “came out and said he made a mistake.”

There are many roadblocks and several issues that need to be addressed before Peterson suits up again with the Vikings, including his high salary for an aging running back — he’s owed $13 million in salary next season and carries a $15.4 million salary cap hit, both league highs for a running back.

Perhaps more than that, the organization must weigh the potential public relations fiasco the team would endure in light of Peterson’s off-the-field issues related to his child abuse case.

Peterson begins community service and counseling next week as part of his plea deal that downgraded a felony child abuse charge to misdemeanor reckless assault related to whipping his four-year-old son last fall. He will also have to meet with a probation officer monthly and comply with court-ordered drug testing after admitting to “smoking a little weed” during an Oct. 8 pre-trial urinalysis.

Depending on how well Peterson follows through on these things will go a long way in how the Vikings make their ultimate determination on whether or not to bring him back. If not, there apparently are plenty teams — perhaps even the Cowboys, depending on how the DeMarco Murray situation plays out — potentially interested in availing themselves of Peterson’s running back services.