Vikings GM Rick Spielman: Team on same page, want Adrian Peterson back
Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman continued to tow the company line — echoing comments last week made by team co-owner Mark Wilf and new COO Kevin Warren — about how the organization not only wants Adrian Peterson back with the team next season, it’s expected the running back will play in purple in 2015.
As Peterson’s appeal of his suspension weaves its way through the court system, the Vikings are unable to speak with him, but Spielman stated at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday that the team wants him back on their active roster.
“We expect Adrian Peterson to be part of our football team,” Spielman said, via the Pioneer Press.
And quite frankly, the GM adds, what team wouldn’t?
“Me and [Coach Mike Zimmer], I think you guys have a pretty good idea where we’re at on it,” he said, via the Star Tribune. “And I think our whole organization is on the same page. And I stated what I stated when I talked with you guys after the season. What team wouldn’t want to have an Adrian Peterson talent?”
“He’s unique player that you don’t see come around too often, and Adrian’s been a key part of our organization,” Speilman continued. “He’s made a mistake. He’s doing everything and he’s got to follow through and rectify and do the things the NFL is requiring him to do.”
Spielman’s comments Wednesday from the Combine echo what he said about Peterson in January when he called the running back a “good person” who “came out and said he made a mistake.”
As it stands now, Peterson will remain suspended until April 15, pending the outcome of his appeal in federal court.
When asked by reporters if he wished he could speak with Peterson personally about the organization’s interest in keeping him in a Vikings uniform, Spielman quipped, “I’m sure he reads the paper,” reportedly while grinning.
As far as the likely eventuality that the Vikings may face a public relations dilemma should the team figure out a way to keep Peterson on the team that makes both sides happy — the running back’s $12.75 million salary next season could prove to be a sticking point — Spielman and the Vikings seem to be taking a proactive approach, hedging their bets that as is often the case, people tend to give people who express remorse second chances.
It was reported in late January that a half-dozen teams have done some background work on Peterson should the Vikings and the running back decide to part ways. By all appearances, the entire Vikings organization is doing its collective due diligence to make sure Peterson is made aware that he is still wanted.