NFC North Notes: Peterson, Bennett, Lions

A day after releasing a statement indicating that he doesn’t want to be traded and that his absence from OTAs is simply about securing his future with the Vikings, Adrian Peterson took to Twitter to rant about NFL contracts. While many of the running back’s broader points – involving the lack of agency players have compared to teams when it comes to getting out of contracts – are accurate, it’s difficult to have any sympathy for Peterson, given the circumstances.

Peterson, after all, is poised to enter his age-30 season as the NFL’s highest-paid running back, and the Vikings appear entirely willing to pay him that $12.75MM salary rather than asking him to reduce it, despite the fact that the 30-year-old was investigated for child abuse last year. While many players could rightly gripe about teams failing to honor contracts, the rhetoric doesn’t sound very effective coming from Peterson right now.

Let’s check out a few more items from across the NFC North….

  • Michael Johnson took a free agent visit to Minnesota to meet with the Vikings before he decided to return to Cincinnati this offseason. As Johnson told SiriusXM NFL Radio today (Twitter link), he didn’t think he’d like Minnesota, but he did — he simply preferred to “go home” instead of signing with the Vikes.
  • Bears tight end Martellus Bennett continues to be absent from Chicago’s offseason program due to a contract dispute, writes Jeff Dickerson of A report last month suggested that Bennett wanted a new deal and that the Bears were considering trading him.
  • Lions president Tom Lewand spoke to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press about the team’s increased focus on adding high-character players to its roster.
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