Adrian Peterson’s hearing began today, with NFL and NFLPA attorneys arguing to U.S. District Jude David Doty over whether the ruling to suspend Peterson – and to extend that suspension through to April – was just.
Union representative Jeffrey Kessler argued that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acted outside of his power in suspending Peterson under the personal conduct policy put in place in late August. The NFLPA also believes that arbitrator Harold Henderson was biased in his decision to uphold the suspension, according to Ben Goessling of ESPN.com.
NFL attorney Daniel Nash was present to counter the NFLPA’s testimony, and reiterated that the NFL believes that the suspension was warranted.
Peterson was upbeat after the first day of the hearing. “Felt good. Felt like I got a fair hearing,” said Peterson, according to Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press (via Twitter).
The 30-year old running back was asked if he would like to return to the Vikings in 2015, replying simply, “Of course,” writes Murphy (via Twitter). However, Peterson did not address whether he would consider taking a pay cut to remain with the team.
In a video on Bleacher Report, lead NFL writer Jason Cole explains that while Peterson is looking to resolve this matter quickly, the NFL would prefer to drag this along. With free agency beginning on March 10, Peterson would like to be reinstated by that date in order for him to return to the Vikings, be traded, or be released and allowed to sign freely with another franchise.
The NFL wants to have this last past that date, to ensure Peterson does not get the full advantages of free agency, and in part helping the Vikings retain leverage over their face-of-the-franchise running back.