When it comes to running back Adrian Peterson, the Vikings have three options: (1) keep him and try to make him happy; (2) keep him regardless of whether he’s happy; or (3) trade him.
The Vikings have adopted the position that they’ll keep Peterson regardless of whether he’s happy, and it doesn’t appear to be a ruse aimed at coaxing a greater offer via trade. The Vikings want Peterson, and they’re confident that the passage of time will smooth over any ruffled feathers.
That said, it’s possible that someone will make them a trade offer that gets Minnesota’s attention — under the same theory pursuant to which any player on any team is, in theory, available via trade. If another team puts enough picks and/or players on the pile, even an untouchable player will be asked to pack his bags.
In this case, that’s not expected to happen. A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that a recent report that they’d want a first-round pick and a starting cornerback isn’t accurate, which suggests it would take even more than that to even begin to get the Vikings to consider making the deal.
And for good reason. Absent a package that will have the same impact on the Vikings that Peterson could have in 2015, given an improving defense and a young franchise quarterback distributing the ball to a respectable complement of receivers, the Vikings have no reason to make a deal.
Look for plenty of noise and agitation about a possible trade over the next 10 days, with the possibility that someone will decide to put together a modern-day Herschel Walker-type package. Absent that, the Vikings likely will keep Peterson’s rights and hope that he eventually realizes that his best move will be to honor his contract, accept $13 million, and resume his chase for the all-time rushing record, which remains 8,165 yards away.
Which requires five seasons of, on average, 1,633 yards per year. That’s a total Peterson has surpassed only twice in his career.
Based on how he performed in 2012 after tearing an ACL on Christmas Eve of 2011, it wouldn’t be wise to ever bet against Peterson. But if he plans to prove the doubters wrong and if the Vikings plan to keep him for the next three seasons, Peterson’s best bet will be to stay put and to play hard.