Adrian Peterson is bucking for Brett Favre treatment

Jun 15, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) answers questions after practice at mini camp. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) answers questions after practice at mini camp. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

Adrian Peterson is clearly not a big fan of training camp and would probably prefer to skip it like Brett Favre used to do.

Adrian Peterson is talking a lot this offseason, and a lot of his talk is about how much he hates training camp.

About a month ago Peterson did a big interview with Peter King where he was quoted as saying he thinks he can play until he’s forty. The bit of that interview everyone over-looked was where he said though he thinks he’s physically capable of playing until 40, he’s not sure he wants to stick around that long and continue to deal with all the offseason stuff that comes with being in the NFL (Via MMQB):

"“I can, but will I? Honestly, I don’t think I will. Mentally, I don’t know. Once I get to 38, I don’t think I’ll have the same love of the game. Sometimes I get tired of training camp. I think I can endure five more [camps], but after that, I don’t know.”"

Now here were are in June, with minicamps and OTAs in the rearview mirror, and Peterson is doubling-down on his anti-training camp talk. Here was his latest comment via ESPN:

"“That’s it,” Peterson said. “Training camp, going through the grind, OTAs and all that — that will definitely be the deciding factor. Physically, body-wise, I’ll be good. It’s just mentally — like with OTAs, I’m out there practicing, I’m going, I’m putting in work. But it’s so repetitive that it’s more suited toward the young guys and getting them into the system. It gets kind of boring.”"

Peterson is quoted in the ESPN piece noting that he did zero training camp work ahead of his 2,000-yard season in 2012 because he was too occupied with rehabbing from his torn ACL. Peterson suggests that if he just worked out on the side and didn’t have to participate in boring drills and meetings, he might be in line for another 2,000-yard season.

Adrian’s remarks immediately put us in mind of another very famous, very well-paid player who was notoriously against having to show up for training camp. In his two years with the Vikings, Brett Favre managed to work it so that his participation in non-game activities was minimized as much as possible. He did this mostly by hemming-and-hawing about retirement until the very last minute, then swooping into town armed with a bucket of protein powder.

The Vikings were willing to tolerate Favre’s calculated tardiness because they knew how important he was to the team, and after all, he was Brett Favre. Is Adrian Peterson now in such a powerful position that he should be singled out for similar preferential treatment, without his having to resort to retirement-talk shenanigans?

You could argue that Peterson is indeed the Vikings’ single-most-important player, and by virtue of that fact alone, his workload should be minimized. Whether Peterson deserves special treatment simply because he’s Adrian Peterson, a legend who looms as large in Vikings history as almost anyone else you care to name, is something I leave up to the readers to answer for themselves.

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In my mind, there is something to be said for dialing back Peterson’s participation in camp and preseason to the bare minimum, to ensure that his 31-year-old body is as fresh as possible for the real grind of the regular season. Peterson may want to beg out of camp from sheer boredom, but there are more practical, team-centered reasons why it might not be a bad idea to excuse AD from most if not all of the action at Mankato.