Vikings running back Adrian Peterson recently has mused about finishing his career in Texas. He also has said he’s been a keeping a close eye on the team’s search for a new coach and offensive coordinator.
It has prompted some (i.e., us) to wonder whether Peterson eventually will ask to be traded if/when the team continues to struggle to develop a passing game. So what happens if/when Peterson asks G.M. Rick Spielman to trade him?
“Adrian’s not going anywhere,” Spielman said in an interview that aired partially on Thursday’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN and in its entirety on Friday’s PFT Live. “He have him under contract, he is the face of our franchise, he is a blue-chip player, and we have a new coaching staff coming into place, and you know, [we're] very excited about what’s coming ahead for us.”
What’s coming ahead under Peterson’s contract is a cap number of $14.4 million in 2014, $15.4 million in 2015, $15 million in 2016, and $16 million in 2017.
What’s also coming ahead is rehab from his third surgery in three offseasons. Given the injuries and procedures, Spielman was asked whether he’s concerned about Peterson’s ability to play at a high level over the long term.
“I never have any doubts in Adrian, and this was a minor procedure, and it was bothering him some, but it was something that he’ll fully recover from and you never count Adrian out, because he always has a chip on his shoulder, he always wants to prove that he’s the best in the business and I have no doubt that he’ll do that this offseason as well.”
It’s difficult — and dangerous — to doubt Peterson. But he turns 29 on March 21, which makes him hardly a spring chicken as running backs go. With high cap numbers, an inevitable decline looming, and a burning desire to compete for a championship, it could still be a matter of time before Peterson makes it clear that he wants to move on.
If that happens, the question then will become whether the Vikings declare that they have “no intent” to trade Peterson. Just like they had “no intent” to trade Percy Harvin a year ago.