Rick Spielman still wants Adrian Peterson to retire with Vikings
It appears for all intents and purposes that Adrian Peterson’s time with the Minnesota Vikings has come to an end. Despite the writing seemingly being on the wall, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is still holding out hope that Peterson can finish his Hall of Fame-caliber career with the team.
Does Rick Spielman still want Adrian Peterson to retire a Viking? "Yes." Must go thru process, evaluate everything. @SiriusXMNFL
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 25, 2017
There obviously are myriad issues to resolve if the Vikings hope to retain Peterson, highlighted by the running back’s advancing age and unrealistic price tag.
Peterson, who will turn 32 in March, is on the books next season for $18 million. Coming off a 2016 campaign in which he appeared in only three games due to injury, there’s clearly no chance the Vikings will take him back at that price.
Peterson did appear in all 16 games during the 2015 season, rushing for 1,485 yards. But he missed all but one game in 2014 in the wake of child abuse allegations following the team’s Week 1 game that landed him on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list and ultimately suspended for the balance of the season.
The Vikings for the most part rallied around Peterson during his off-the-field troubles while simultaneously seeking organizational damage control. Despite some bumps in the road along the way, Spielman was on the forefront of that campaign back in 2015, so perhaps it’s not all that surprising he’s at least expressing loyalty to the longtime Vikings star once again.
The case can be made, though, that Peterson is the wild card in the process. A player with enormous pride who believes he can play another several years, Peterson will have to admit a pay cut is in order, whether it be with the Vikings or some other team.
Peterson said earlier this month he would “love” to finish his career with the Vikings. But he later tabbed the Texans, Buccaneers and Giants as teams he would consider should it not work out in Minnesota.
With all that in mind and despite Spielman’s stated hopes, it likely will be up to Peterson alone to decide if he truly wants to finish his career with the Vikings.