There was plenty of huffing and puffing in the offseason from people close to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Ultimately, however, Peterson realized no one was going to be blowing down any houses.
“The reality, and just to be straightforward with you,” Peterson told Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “I knew I really wasn’t going anywhere. I am the type of person that likes to look at things from different views, so I put myself in the Vikings situation — the owners, the head coach. We’re not gonna let you go. I revert back to the Percy Harvin situation. Me, if I was the owner of the Vikings, there’s no way I would have let him go. But unfortunately for us, he ended up leaving — but that’s the way I would have looked at it.”
With Harvin, the Vikings had a chance to secure a sizable haul of draft picks (including a first-rounder) and to remove a cancerous presence from the locker room. With Peterson, the trade offers weren’t there, and there were no lingering concerns about Peterson’s behavior, if they could get him to show up.
The Vikings were determined to get him to show up.
“I think Adrian felt a little bit abandoned at first,” coach Mike Zimmer told King. “But we felt we had to go play without him, and we didn’t have much choice in the matter, obviously. I made one mistake in the process. I said it’s a two-way street, and we want him to be here. People took it like, If he doesn’t want to be here, maybe we’d let him go. That was never the case. We never wavered in wanting him here. He’s done a lot for this city, for this state, for these fans.”
That “mistake” was made during a visit to PFT Live, and the reaction to the two-way street comment was logical. But Zimmer privately made it clear to Peterson that: (1) they wanted him; and (2) they’re not letting him go.
In a subsequent visit to PFT Live, Zimmer said that he had been in difficult employment situations in the past, but that he had a contract so he worked through it. For Peterson, that’s the way it ultimately worked out.
And now he has a better contract, along with a fresh determination (and financial incentive) to lead the Vikings deep into the postseason.