North Notes: Peterson, Little, Browns

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has officially accepted a no-contest plea, meaning he’ll be placed on probation, will pay a $4K fine, and will be subject to 80 hours of community service. It also means that the legal process for his case has concluded, so the Vikings and the NFL will have to decide on the next step for the embattled running back.

The NFL doesn’t seem to be rushing a decision, with spokesman Greg Aiello telling Pro Football Talk today that the league will review the court documents and can’t speculate on a timetable for a ruling. Still, that decision should come by next week, when the Vikings return from their Week 10 bye. As ESPN’s Ed Werder observes, the NFLPA “expects that the league will punish Peterson as it would any other player determined to be guilty of a misdemeanor,” which suggests the Vikings star could be back on the field sooner rather than later.

As we wait to see how the Peterson situation plays out, let’s check in on a few more items out of the league’s two North divisions….

  • For their part, Peterson’s Vikings teammates sound ready to welcome him back with open arms, as Ben Goessling of details.
  • Wide receiver Greg Little, who was cut by the Browns earlier this year after an up-and-down three years with the team, is looking forward to facing his old team as a member of the Bengals this week, as he tells Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I was coming in to a new coaching staff I was growing towards and they were looking at me to come in and play well,” said the former second-round pick, discussing the end of his time in Cleveland. “I had a great relationship with them and the front office decided to go in another direction. Hopefully I’ll make them pay.”
  • Asked today by reporters about the possibility of re-signing Josh Cribbs as a return man, Browns GM Ray Farmer didn’t express any interest in the idea, suggesting the team didn’t want to cut anyone on the current roster for a player whose value is exclusively linked to kick and punt returns (Twitter link via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer).
  • Maggie Hendricks of USA Today identifies the Bears and Lions as a couple clubs that should have some interest in rookie defensive end Michael Sam, who has been a free agent since being dropped from Dallas’ practice squad.
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