Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) looks on during overtime against the Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Bears 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Peterson And The Vikings To Part Ways Soon?

The sports media has gone wild lately with reports that the Vikings will be looking to get rid of star running back Adrian Peterson soon.  While there could be some validity to this story, personally, I’m just not buying it.

Here is their evidence:

The Vikings are looking for ways to part with superstar runner Adrian Peterson sooner rather than later. Peterson is 29 and when backs hit 30, their production usually drops off precipitously. Backs age in dog years, and despite Peterson’s adamantium bone structure, he isn’t impervious to aging.

“My personal opinion,” said one AFC general manager, “is this (coming) season will be Peterson’s last with the Vikings. Despite the cap hit, they’ll make some sort of move to get him off the roster.”    

Craig correctly points out that the Vikings could restructure, rather than outright releasing Peterson, but it gets easier as the years tick past to sever ties strictly for financial reasons.

  • Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) celebrates his touchdown run against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) celebrates his touchdown run against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    A chart showing Peterson’s base salary for the rest of his contract

2014: $11.75M

2015: $12.75M

2016: $14.75M

2017: $15.75M

Despite that evidence, I’m still weary about buying into this theory.  Here is my reasoning for believing that the Minnesota Vikings have no intention of getting rid of their star running back:

  • The Vikings usually honor contracts of their star players.  Despite a big decrease in productivity by Jared Allen since his NFL sack record chase, they had a cap hit of over $17 million to keep him on the roster last season. Peterson’s largest cap hit will come in 2017, when he’s scheduled a $16 million hit against the cap.  That is still less than Allen’s hit last year.
  • Peterson isn’t declining as quickly as other running backs in the NFL.  It is hard to compare Adrian Peterson to other running backs in the league.  He’s just not the same kind of beast.  Heck, sometimes it’s easy to believe that he’s not even human.
  • The reports aren’t coming from someone close to the Vikings organization.  An unnamed AFC general manager and speculation from other beat writers isn’t enough for me to take the reports seriously.  Until the Vikings organization approaches Peterson for a pay cut, I can’t believe it.
  • Adrian Peterson is still the face of the Minnesota Vikings organization.  Let’s be downright honest here.  No player on the team sells more tickets and jerseys than Adrian Peterson.  Sure, the team has rising stars on the roster, but nobody that is ready to take on the role that Peterson has on the team.  Merchandise sales would take a huge hit with him gone.

What do you think?  Do you believe that the Minnesota Vikings are looking to move on without Adrian Peterson in the near future?  Or do you think the Vikings will honor the contract as long as Peterson is productive on the field?  Let me know in the comments!

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Jared Allen Minnesota Vikings

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