Adrian Peterson reportedly flew to New York to meet with Vikings owners
After meeting last week at his Texas home with Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer, Adrian Peterson flew to New York on Tuesday to meet with team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf along with Spielman, according to a USA Today report from Tom Pelissero.
A person with knowledge of the situation speaking on the condition of anonymity reportedly confirmed that Peterson took a commercial flight from Houston to LaGuardia Airport to meet with the Vikings owners and Spielman.
Peterson reportedly met with Spielman and Zimmer at his home outside of Houston for approximately 4 hours last week and one has to assume he will engage in similar discussions — both in length and substance — with the Wilfs.
What is unclear, though, will be the nature of the discussions. The Vikings have put on a united front for some time now regarding an organizational desire to keep the team’s all-time leading rusher in the fold. Peterson is under contract with the Vikings through the 2017 season, although the terms cannot be viewed as acceptable from Minnesota’s standpoint, even if the team is in a poor position to renegotiate his contract at this time.
Peterson is owed $12.75 million in base salary and a $250,000 workout bonus in 2015 with the contract terms escalating by $2 million in base salary in each successive year. While the running back has not publicly requested a trade or release — a Yahoo! Sports report indicated he has a list of teams he would go to, though — Peterson has expressed uneasiness about returning to the Vikings after what he perceived as a lack of organizational support since reports of his child abuse case came to light early on during the 2014 season.
Spielman acknowledged last week that even before traveling to Texas, the Vikings were engaged in discussions with Peterson once the team was allowed to communicate with him once he won his appeal of his suspension.
It’s entirely possible that the Vikings and Peterson have agreed behind the scenes to engage in talks in order to both renegotiate his contract and elevate his trade value, thereby effectuating his departure on more mutually satisfying terms. It is also possible that the team’s very public wooing of Peterson is a sincere attempt to help soothe any hurt feelings on behalf of the running back. How well that gambit is paying off is unclear.
With the team’s ability to trade the all-world running back coming Tuesday afternoon, perception may be just as relevant as reality in either scenario.
(photo credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)