Adrian Peterson returned to the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, apologizing to seemingly everyone for everything he’s done wrong over the last year. Peterson, who spoke openly during a 25-minute press conference, said that there is no animosity between him and the Vikings and that he is happy to be in Minnesota.
Why the sudden about-turn?
“Well, he spent the last few weeks sort of privately fuming and publicly venting on Twitter,” CBS NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “He’s reached a point where he had to make a decision on how far he wanted to take this. Does he want to do what he was telling people he might do and skip all this stuff and see what happens come training camp, if maybe that’s how he forces the Vikings’ hand and is guaranteeing more money or making his contract more palatable for him?
“Because no matter what he says now, every indication in the world that he gave the Vikings – and (that) his agent gave anybody who would ask – was that he wanted out of Minnesota, if at all possible. They didn’t obviously do it by the draft, and I credit Mike Zimmer probably more than anybody else for the hard-line stance he took and for ultimately getting Peterson’s attention and having him realize, ‘Look, there wasn’t going to be any middle ground. You’ve got a contract. Come and play. Otherwise, we’re moving on without you and you won’t make any money.’
“I think ultimately he realized, ‘You know what? I have no leverage.’ And the only way to create artificial leverage is through a training-camp holdout, and he just wasn’t willing to do it.”
Peterson may have also changed his tune due to lack of interest on the open market – or better yet, lack of interest in Peterson’s salary.
“The problem is the contract,” La Canfora said. “There’s teams that would trade for him, but if you want to meet the Vikings’ value of him – which would have been in their perfect world a first-round pick. Let’s say it was two 2s. You got to find a team that’s willing to part with the picks and pay him that contract. Nobody was going to pay him that contract. Finding the perfect match of team willing to unload high draft picks and pay him $13 million this year and $15 million the year after that and $17 million the year after that? That didn’t exist. And that’s what complicated it.
“If it was a more manageable contract, then I think there’s teams that – if he was making 10, 11 or certainly 8 or 9 (million), there would have been no shortage of teams that would say, ‘You know what? We’ll trade a second this year and a second next year to take a crack at that and have him at a manageable deal for the next three years.’ The problem is, the deal’s an outlier. And probably the only team that was willing to pay him in the end is the one where he didn’t want to be, but he’s there now – and it’s a marriage of convenience, if nothing else.”