The real media is whispering that Adrian Peterson may be unhappy with his contract, which is set to run for three more years. Said NFL.com’s Michael Lombardi under the heading “Things I hear…”
The next player to complain about his contract will be Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who missed the mandatory minicamp due to a scheduling conflict.
Considering what Lombardi was saying, maybe “scheduling conflict” should’ve been in quotes.
Actually, most people aren’t treating this like a great revelation. Peterson signed a six-year, $40 million deal coming out of college, and in the first three years, has for the most part gone beyond living up to those terms. So it seems inevitable that, at some point, he would ask for his deal to be torn up and replaced with something that compensates him at fair market value.
The question is, should the Vikings be that eager to sign Peterson to a big-money, long-term contract given the position he plays and the problems he’s had?
Running backs, as we know, wear out fast – and Peterson has carried the ball as much as any other player the last three years. How many more highly productive seasons can we reasonably expect from a guy with that much mileage already on him?
And of course there’s the fumble issue. As great as Peterson can be…well, we saw in the NFC title game what can happen to him when the pressure is on.
Based purely on numbers, there’s no question that Peterson deserves to be paid as one of the top 2 or 3 backs in the league. And, in the end, I think the Vikings will give him his money.
But the big, looming, scary question remains: Is this a guy we can rely on to carry a Brett Favre-less version of the Vikings to a championship?
If not, then the argument can be made that it would be a gamble to extend him far beyond the three years he’s already locked in for. Of course, in football, crafty things can be done with numbers to reduce the risk.
Either way, I would expect Adrian to compete at the same borderline-suicidal level he always does. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who will let contract concerns distract him from his job.