Adrian Peterson not focused on his contract


On the same day that Titans running back Chris Johnson agreed to a four-year, $53.5 million contract extension (which coupled with the remaining two years of his rookie deal puts him at six years and $55.2 million), the Vikings had a preseason game.  And while running back Adrian Peterson wasn’t dodging (or bowling over) defenders on the field, he had to tiptoe around multiple contract-related questions from reporters.

Asked whether Johnson’s deal establishes a “baseline” for Peterson’s next contract, Peterson said (via quotes distributed by the team), “I don’t look at it like that.  I look at his contract and the things that they have put together for him and I look at whatever I need to get done for me.  It’s going to be my own separate deal so I don’t think it has anything to do with his.”

Peterson said he’s happy for Johnson, and that the fifth-year star isn’t focusing on his own contract, but on playing football.

The fundamental difference between Peterson’s situation and Johnson’s is that, as Peterson recently observed, he’s in the driver’s seat.  With a 2011 base salary of $10.7 million and a 2012 franchise tender (if/when the Vikings apply it) of $12.84 million, Peterson is looking at $23.5 million over the next two years — the same two years in which Johnson was due to make $1.7 million.  A second application of the franchise tag would give Peterson another $15.4 million, pushing his three-year haul to $38.9 million, if he remains healthy and effective.

Thus, Peterson has significant leverage.  Any long-term deal will need to pay him that same $38.9 million over the first three years, which will allow him to push the bar for running backs to a new level.

22 responses to “Adrian Peterson not focused on his contract

  1. “A second application of the franchise tag would give Peterson another $15.4 million, pushing his three-year haul to $38.9 million, IF he remains healthy and effective.”

    And there’s the rub. Hopefully the wheels don’t fall off, but everyone knows the history on RB’s.

  2. Before anyone comes hear trying to claim how great AP is for honoring his contract versus Chris Johnson who held they need to remember this. Peterson comming into the league signed a huge contract and after this season will have pocketed $40 million. The only reason he came into the league with that huge contract is because he was drafted high in the first round and at that time that’s the type of contract his draft position dictated. The only reason CP was locked into his $12 million rookie contract is because he was drafted at the bottom of the first round and at that time that’s what his contract dictated.

    It didn’t have anything to do with skills or even negotiation skills. Try as he might CP could not have negotiated a $40 million contract comming into the league like AP.

    I spell this out because they seem to be so many fans on this site that claims to know how the league operates but always tries to compare the two situation.

    Oh and by the way…with the new cap on rookie contracts signed with the new CBA get used to even more holdouts by rookies who outperform their rookie contracts. That’s the nature of the beast in the NFL. That’s the type of structure the league set up….Management cuts players in the middle of contracts, Players hold out in the middle of contracts. It’s not pretty but the only thing worst than that are whinny fans who don’t understand the dynamics or who claim players should “HONOR YOUR CONTRACT”……even though no NFL contract has ever forbidden a player from holding out nor has a player ever been sued by a team for breach of contract for holding out.

  3. Peterson is in the driver’s seat as long as he doesn’t get hurt. The only incentive he has to push for a contract now would be to get some guaranteed money.

    But yeah at this stage in the game he can’t do much better than a franchise tag really. And due to make 10.7 mil his situation should not ever be mixed with CJ’s.

    I mean, can anyone really be mad at CJ for holding out? He gained himself an extra $30 mil.

  4. 6thsense79, Really well said. I hate seeing players hold out. It’s annoying, but unfortunately it is the only way to force reluctant owners into paying a player that is out performing their contract.

  5. jw731, what team do you follow? The Vikings are gonna surprise people this year. Watch and see and remember you heard it here first.

  6. Is Peterson a much better guy than Johnson if he gets his knee blown out? Johnson wasn’t wrong and he got his money. Hopefully money is really not on Peterson’s mind because that could alter his running style.

    “THIS is why AD is the best back in the game…” This doesn’t make Peterson better than Johnson. C.J. is likely an idiot, but he got paid and it’d be terrible to see Peterson get injured badly.

  7. CJ Rookie Contract- 5 yr 12 mil, 7 mil guaranteed
    AP Rookie Contract- 6yr 40.5 mil, 17 mil guaranteed.

    Its understood why CJ was upset, but he could of handled it better. AP doesn’t really care about the money, but he doesn’t need it as bad either. Looking like predator is a high maintenance lifestyle.

  8. Any long-term deal will need to pay him that same $38.9 million over the first three years, which will allow him to push the bar for running backs to a new level.

    First, I don’t think Peterson can be franchised two years in a row. Second, isn’t part of the reason you sign a long-term deal so you can get the security of guaranteed money? He isn’t guaranteed $38.9 million unless he stays healthy. He would take less than that if it’s guaranteed. If the Vikings had to pay him that much over the next three years, they would have no incentive to sign him to a long-term contract. Just keep paying him a year at a time and see if he stays healthy.

  9. Two more reasons why Vikes and AD are being patient:

    !) The Vikes don’t want the headline “AD gets $35M guaranteed” when they are trying to get money for a stadium.

    2) He knows he’s going to be featured in the Vikes new offense like never before. The blocking scheme will be better, and if McNabb can throw to him half as well as he did to Westbrook, AD will have a HUGE year.

    (Yes, not only will the blocking be better, the whole offense will be better. Because it couldn’t be worse than last year.)

  10. stoopwitzer says:
    Sep 2, 2011 9:13 AM
    so glad viking bill took the time to break that down for us…

    I’m sure we would have been clueless otherwise.

    Some of us, regardless of who we yell for, still like to see the decency of the human being. Being a better person, ya know.

    Class. Wikipedia has a definition. Check it out.

    Pretty sure AD wont be buying a grill with whatever he gets either. Just wanted to point that out.

  11. The difference between these two players has nothing to do with money or talent. CJ is rude, arrogant and disrespectful. He calls Adrian out in the media like a spoiled brat. He loves to tell everyone that he is the best back in football etc. Adrian handles it with dignity and simply says “let my play speak for itself”. CJ calls out Titan fans on Twitter, while Adrian is gracious and respectful to his fans. He is an asset to the locker room and not a distraction. CJ is an incredible talent, who’s play I can enjoy watching, but who as a person I don’t care for. Adrian is an incredible talent, who remains humble, approachable and decent. He fits in well with our “Minnesota Nice” attitude. If he leaves, I will thank him for his great service to our team and wish him well. Sure hope he doesn’t though!

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