What will the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson and his burdensome contract? With a week to go before the start of free agency, we still don’t know how much – if any – of Peterson’s $15 million cap number the Vikes will have to carry for the upcoming season.
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Cutting Peterson outright would save the Vikings $13 million, but it would also leave them without a starting running back or any kind of return value for the player. Trading him could conceivably gain them a high draft pick, but that $13 million salary would make working out a deal very difficult.
It would help matters immensely if Peterson were willing to restructure his contract either to stay in Minnesota or make a trade easier. We still don’t know if Peterson would be willing to take less money to stay with the Vikings, but there is a report out there saying he would re-do the deal in order to make a trade.
Yahoo! Sports cites sources close to Peterson as saying the running back is still entertaining staying with the Vikings, but that he has also considered possible trade destinations. If he has to take less money to make a deal workable, he is reportedly open to that option as well.
I suppose the “restructure and trade” scenario would all depend on what teams came forward with offers. Would Peterson be open to a restructure if the trade partner were a team he’s not interested in playing for? And what about restructuring to stay with the Vikings?
Reading between the lines here, it almost seems like Peterson is giving the Vikings a pretty simple either/or choice: Keep him for the full value of his deal or agree to a restructure with an eye toward a trade. If some team is willing to take Peterson off the Vikings’ hands in return for a decent draft pick, I say do it.
If you can’t get good value in return, the best option might be simply keeping Peterson and paying him all his money. The Vikings are not in too much cap trouble right now and if they need a little wiggle room they can always do some things with Chad Greenway and Greg Jennings’ contracts.
Things would be much more complicated if the Vikings were in cap difficulty. Peterson may ultimately not be worth the money he is set to be paid, but going into the season without him might be worse for the team than overpaying him for one more year in purple.
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