7:14pm: The NFL has issued a statement on the Peterson matter, per Schefter:
“We have received the NFLPA’s grievance on behalf of Adrian Peterson. We have honored our commitment to Mr. Peterson and the NFLPA not to process or impose any discipline until the criminal charges pending in Texas were resolved. When Mr. Peterson decided not to contest criminal charges, we promptly advised both him and the NFLPA that we were prepared to consider what, if any, discipline should now be imposed under the Personal Conduct Policy. We asked Mr. Peterson and his representatives, including the NFLPA, for relevant information. We have not received any of the requested information, but remain prepared to schedule a hearing and make a determination as quickly as possible based on as much information as available.”
5:41pm: The collective bargaining agreement states that an expedited grievance must be heard within seven days, and a decision must handed down five days after that, reports Ben Goessling of ESPN.com (via Twitter). As such, it’s possible we could see the process concluded before Sunday’s game against the Bears, but it’s probably more likely that Peterson will have to wait until Week 12 , when the Vikings play the Packers, to see a resolution.
4:56pm: The NFL Players Association announced today that it has filed an expedited, non-injury grievance to remove Vikings running back Adrian Peterson from the commissioner’s exempt list, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The grievance states that, based on explicit language in a signed agreement from September, the NFL had agreed to keep Peterson on the exempt list until his legal case was resolved.
“We asked the NFL to honor the terms of that agreement last week and as of now, they have failed to respond or comply,” reads the union’s statement. “It is our obligation to protect all players’ rights, and we will pursue any and all breaches of any contract between a player and his team or the NFL”
We heard over the weekend that the NFLPA had demanded Peterson’s reinstatement, and intended to file a grievance if the NFL didn’t make an announcement by Tuesday. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the NFLPA had actually given the league a deadline of Monday at 5:00pm eastern time, so it makes sense that the union has gone ahead and filed that grievance already. Per Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (Twitter link), the union is allowed to file four expedited grievances per year. When such a grievance is filed, the two sides are expected to act in “good faith” to resolve the issue before the affected player’s next game.
Peterson hasn’t played since Week 1 after being indicted on child abuse charges stemming from an incident in Texas. After initially planning on activating Peterson for Week 3, the Vikings reversed course; Peterson, the club, and the league eventually agreed that the running back would be placed on the commissioner’s list, where he would be paid but not allowed to play, until his case was resolved. Peterson accepted a no-contest plea last week, but the NFL has yet to announce a course of action regarding his future.
As Florio notes, even if Peterson wins this grievance, it doesn’t mean he will avoid suspension. Rather, he’ll be able to re-join the Vikings until his league-imposed discipline is decided upon. Additionally, it’s unclear what the fan, media, and sponsorship reaction will be to a potential Peterson return, given the nature of the incident that resulted in his deactivation.