Before Tuesday, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was due to make $44.75 million non-guaranteed over the next three years. Now, Peterson is due to make less — but he’s likely to earn a lot more of it, with the Vikings or someone else.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Peterson’s new contract has a base value of $44 million over the next three years.
For 2015, Peterson’s $12.75 million base salary (and unearned $250,000 roster bonus) becomes an $11 million base salary that is fully guaranteed, with a $2 million roster bonus due to be paid on July 28.
For 2016, Peterson will earn a base salary of $7.75 million, $7 million of which is guaranteed for injury only at signing. The rest of it becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2016 league year. Also on the third day of the league year, Peterson earns a $5 million roster bonus.
For 2017, Peterson will earn a base salary of $11.75 million, with a $6 million roster bonus due on the third day of the league year.
In both 2016 and 2017, Peterson can earn another $250,000 by participating in the OTA practices and mandatory minicamps.
It adds up to $44 million. It’s $750,000 less than Peterson already was due to make, but the deal requires the Vikings to make early decisions about Peterson in 2016 and 2017, allowing him to either earn his money from the Vikings or to hit the open market early, before the free-agency money is spent and the roster spots are filled.
There also are some potential tweaks to the base value of the deal, both positive and negative. We’ll break those down in a separate post. Some of you may see that as a negative. I personally see that as a positive.