There’s no way the Vikings will pay Peterson $18 million in 2017. So then question becomes how much less will they offer him — and how much more that will be than the Giants or anyone else will pay?
Even if Peterson is determined to seek his freedom when the Vikings squeeze him to take less, he needs to get the best offer on the table in order to compare it to what others would pay. Technically, Peterson isn’t supposed to know what’s behind Door No. 2 before rejecting Door No. 1; as a practical matter, most agents know how to discreetly “gauge the market.”
Maybe he’ll take $1 million less to go elsewhere. Maybe $2 million. But maybe he won’t take more than $3 million less.
Arguably, Peterson means more to the Vikings than he does to any other team, given his achievements, his time with the team, and his connection to the fan base. Regardless of what he’s worth to his current team or any other, Peterson needs to know before making a final decision about whether he’ll be moving on.