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Adrian Peterson may be done as a Viking

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings sits on the field as trainers tended to his knee in the third quarter of the game against the Green Bay Packers on September 18, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Peterson was carried to the sidelines and later went to the locker room. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

A couple of years ago, it seemed unlikely that running back Adrian Peterson would still be playing for the Vikings when the team opened its new stadium. Now, it’s entirely possible that the first regular-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium will have been Peterson’s last with the team.

With Peterson’s torn meniscus (and possible LCL tear) knocking him out for 3-4 months, Peterson may not be ready until the postseason. With a rash of injuries to key players it’s hard to see the team qualifying for the postseason, 2-0 start notwithstanding.

Come 2017, the Vikings owe Peterson $6 million in March, along with another $11.75 million in base salary. Given his age and his latest knee injury, that’s likely more of a commitment than the Vikings are willing to make. Absent a restructured contract that greatly reduces his compensation, Peterson likely will be cut.

And so instead of what was supposed to be an eventual passing of the baton from Peterson to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings will endure a season with neither player, and a chance that neither will be playing in purple come 2017.

As to Bridgewater, his short-term future depends on the rehab process and the team’s plans for Sam Bradford. If Bradford’s strong start continues for the balance of the season, a tough decision may be looming.

The decision as to Peterson won’t nearly be as tough. The Vikings surely won’t be paying Peterson $17.75 million in bonus and salary next year. If they can’t work something out in the offseason, whether he’ll wearing the team’s uniform again hinges on whether the team can find a way to the postseason without him.

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22 Responses to “Adrian Peterson may be done as a Viking”
  1. boozytuesday says: Sep 21, 2016 11:51 PM

    AP had a great run as a Viking. Will he retire, 94 play a couple more seasons in another uniform? Emmitt Smith once had a similar decision.

  2. edelmanfanclub says: Sep 21, 2016 11:56 PM

    Well that escalated quickly.

  3. In Teddy We Trust says: Sep 22, 2016 12:02 AM

    Okay, Teddy Bridgewater will definitely be a Viking in 2017. He’ll be in the fourth year of his rookie contract. As for Peterson, he was never going to see that money. If they do want him back, he’ll probably take what they offer because no one else would give him more and he’ll want to be with a contender.

  4. In Teddy We Trust says: Sep 22, 2016 12:07 AM

    Really? It’s hard to see how they can make the playoffs after this rash of injuries? Bridgewater has been gone for three weeks and they look like they have a capable replacement. Peterson and Kalil have done nothing this year and they’re still 2-0. As long as they don’t lose a bunch of players on defense, there’s no reason not to expect this team to make the playoffs.

  5. shaggytoodle says: Sep 22, 2016 12:58 AM

    The VIkings him should have moved him after his scandal, he still had some value then.

    While one of the greatest athletes to play that position, The Vikings are about .500 with 72 W/L give or take a few. They squandered the best part of his career, by never making up there mind at QB, T-Jack, McNabb, Ponder, and Bridgewater with Favre being the only QB that complimented AP instead of relying on him. AP just started his 10th career and essentially had 5 seasons with a new “Expected starter” Then try dragging the team to the playoffs which would often be made based on how weak or strong the schedule was that year.

  6. taintedsaints2009 says: Sep 22, 2016 1:07 AM

    Ha! Peterson probably thinks he has earned a raise from his current contract. His problem is that there is no team that would want him at barely half his current salary.

  7. 60for90 says: Sep 22, 2016 1:15 AM

    Don’t count Adrian Peterson out of the NFL just yet. He will be back.

  8. taintedsaints2009 says: Sep 22, 2016 1:15 AM

    Also, all three of the guys the Vikings have lost this year can be overcome.

    McKinnon and Asiata are a great punch. Bradford could be the new franchise quarterback…let’s face it, he looked better than teddy ever did. He just has a better arm. It’s night and day.

    I only worry about their offensive line depth. I was disappointed that Phil loadholt retired after the draft happened and after free agency. Vikings probably would have used that first pick on a tackle to replace him or signed a free agent like Eugene Monroe. Can John Sullivan come back and play guard or something? The Vikings are now starting two new tackles for the rest of the season. It’s not a good thing but then again, the Broncos had an entirely new offensive line last year and won the super bowl so there’s that.

  9. djscottyb says: Sep 22, 2016 3:48 AM

    He may be done in the NFL.
    With his age and now 2 bad knees, not many other teams will want to take a chance if Minnesota sends the message that they don’t want to invest in those surgically repaired joints.

  10. firerogergoodell says: Sep 22, 2016 4:08 AM

    Adrian Peterson isn’t going to leave the Vikings as soon as they become a Super Bowl contender. They will restructure around 10 million a year. You can quote me on that.

  11. immafubared says: Sep 22, 2016 5:22 AM

    What is wrong with these sports writers? Dont they get it that a person like Pederson is loved by the fans and that the Vikes management will do most anything to no tarnish that image by kicking him to the curb?
    Of course they will have a sit down and it might be to convince him to call it a career. Or part deux, take a pay cut but stay on the team and accept whatever role he is capable of. If he has gas in the tank great.
    This year through the first two games he looked slow of foot and the first step was late to the hole. The injury may have saved him from tarnishing his own image

  12. aj66shanghai says: Sep 22, 2016 6:05 AM

    Man when it rains it pours eh? I don’t see this keeping the Vikings out of the postseason by any means though. The wildcards will be seattle/Arizona or Green Bay/Minnesota. NFC East will send one obligatory team to get slaughtered like the Hunger Games. Do you really think that Minnesota can’t outplay TB, Atlanta, New Orleans, LA? Heck even throw the Lions in there. “Lucky” for the Vikes this happened in a particularly down year for the NFC.

  13. v2787 says: Sep 22, 2016 6:06 AM

    As great a player as Peterson has been, it’s time to face reality: he’s old, he’s got to recover from a bad leg injury, and he makes a LOT of money. I’m guessing that his days as a Viking are pretty much numbered. It’s sad to see him go out this way, because he was really something when he was younger and healthy. However, the game moves on with or without you. It’s time for Peterson’s Viking tenure to come to an end. The team is definitely on the rise and it shouldn’t be hard to attract some really good running backs in the future.

  14. fmc651 says: Sep 22, 2016 7:40 AM

    By the end of last season, Stefon Diggs has taken over as the lead wideout in the Vikings offense. That probably said more about the team’s receiving corps than Diggs, who only had to beat out the likes of Mike Wallace (since released), Jarius Wright (inactive for every game thus far in 2016), and Charles Johnson (the oft-injured former seventh-round pick of the Packers). Still, Diggs looked like a player on the rise after catching 52 passes for 720 yards in just 13 appearances.

    Yet that hardly prepared anyone — perhaps even the Vikings — for Diggs’ ascendance in 2016. Through two weeks, he leads all NFL players in receiving yards (285) and ranks among the league’s best in yards per reception (17.8). On Sunday, he finished just 28 receiving yards shy of Minnesota’s single-game record. And Diggs does more than put up numbers. Diggs slips through coverages with ease, creating wide-open windows for his quarterback. His play has even garnered comparisons to All-Pro Antonio Brown, and justifiably so. Jason HIrschhorn
    If AD is done what a Vikings career he has had. One of the all time greats at running the football.

  15. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Sep 22, 2016 8:11 AM

    In Teddy We Trust says:
    Sep 22, 2016 12:07 AM
    Really? It’s hard to see how they can make the playoffs after this rash of injuries? Bridgewater has been gone for three weeks and they look like they have a capable replacement. Peterson and Kalil have done nothing this year and they’re still 2-0. As long as they don’t lose a bunch of players on defense, there’s no reason not to expect this team to make the playoffs.


    Well, I think you’re about to see why on Sunday. But, bully for you on keeping the faith. You gotta believe!

  16. TB12RALLYCRY says: Sep 22, 2016 8:12 AM

    GOOD…..If hes done send him to Foxboro where he doesnt have to carry the team……Corey Dillon 2.0

  17. jimmysee says: Sep 22, 2016 8:23 AM

    “This is the way the world ends.
    Not with a bang but a whimper.”

    —– T.S. Eliot. The Hollow Men (1925)

  18. minnesotamuggs says: Sep 22, 2016 9:05 AM

    As a die hard Vikings fan, I’m okay with 28 being done; would have been fine with him not being on the team last year. Thanks for all the record breaking performances, and the wins that undoubtedly occurred from you carrying the team, but I haven’t been much of a fan since all of the off-the-field stuff.

    What I would be most worried about is McKinnon having a solid season, the Vikings managing to still have a strong record, and then AP comes back around playoff time, trying to get his starting role back. He seems to have most of the organization in his pocket, meaning he might just get it.

  19. usdcoyotesfan says: Sep 22, 2016 10:19 AM

    I hope he’s done in the NFL. This child-abusing POS should be in prison, and instead he’s making millions playing in the NFL. He should have to suffer as much as that innocent 4-year-old did. I’ve seen in person how psychologically and emotionally damaging abuse can be to a child.

    Shame on the NFL and the Vikings for welcoming back a self-admitted child abuser with open arms, and shame on any Vikings fan (or any fan for that matter) who was excited to see him return and acted like what he did wasn’t a big deal.

  20. pittsburghdamned says: Sep 22, 2016 12:23 PM


  21. smartestmanonthecinder says: Sep 22, 2016 12:32 PM

    Life without Peterson is a major game-changer for the Vikings and their opponents, but not necessarily a bad one. The guy comes with a ton of baggage, and I’m not talking about the off-field part.

    For all his home-run potential, he also strikes out a ton with no-gainers or losses. He has a nasty habit of fumbling, particularly in key situations, not because he’s “not clutch”, but because he’s extremely vulnerable to being stood up and stripped when defenses need to generate turnovers in a 4min offense situation. He limits your offensive playbook from a formation/philosophy POV because he doesn’t play well from the gun and prefers an absurdly-deep-drop i-form. He’s mostly a liability in passing situations as either a blocker or receiver. Maybe worst of all, he requires a major cap investment in an era where money is often best spent elsewhere.

    If the Vikings could have traded him 2yrs ago and gotten any sort of value, I’m sure they would have. Its pretty clear they were shopping him on the downlow. They couldn’t get anything worth having in return.

    They have a normal “thunder & lightening” RB committee now to play with in Asiata and McKinnon. Lets see how Norv does with it.

  22. mediasloppy says: Sep 22, 2016 4:21 PM

    I wouldn’t write AP off. The Vikings paid Jared Allen every penny in his huge contract when they easily could have cut or made a trade.

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