1:30pm: Peterson and the Vikings have issued an official statement on the ESPN report. Peterson’s comments read, in full:
“This was a casual conversation between NFL colleagues in which I never indicated I wanted to leave the Vikings. I have always said I understand the NFL is a business but that I would love to retire as a Viking.”
1:00pm: Star running back Adrian Peterson told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in a June telephone call that he’d have interest in joining the Cowboys after his tenure with the Vikings comes to an end, according to an ESPN.com Outside the Lines report by Don Van Natta Jr. Van Natta recounts Jones’ side of the conversation with the Vikings running back, writing that it’s “obvious” Peterson told Jones he’d like to play for Dallas.
“Well, I understand, Adrian,” Jones said during the conversation. “I’d like that, too … Well, I love your story. I love your daddy’s story. I’ve always respected what you’ve been about. I’ve always been a fan of yours.”
The NFL’s rules related to tampering dictate that if a team is contacted by a player who is under contract with another club, that team must immediately report the contact to the club which holds the player’s rights. Jones, confirming that Peterson told him he’d like to play for the Cowboys, said he didn’t contact the Vikings about the discussion, so it’s not clear whether he’ll be subject to a penalty from the league.
Van Natta’s story also includes details on Jones’ desire to draft Johnny Manziel back in May, rather than offensive lineman Zack Martin.
“If we had picked Manziel, he’d guarantee our relevance for 10 years,” Jones said. “When we were on the clock, I said, if we pick the other guy – any other guy – it would be a ticket to parity, more 8-8 seasons. The only way to break out is to gamble — take a chance with that first pick, if you wanna dramatically improve your team. That’s why I wanted Manziel, but I was the only guy who wanted him.”