Adrian Peterson‘s legal case was officially closed this week when the Vikings running back accepted a no-contest plea which will subject him to probation, a $4K fine, and 80 hours of community service. By pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge, Peterson avoids jail time and a conviction on his criminal record.
Peterson has now missed eight games this season after agreeing to be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list while the legal process played out, but now that the case has been closed, the NFL and the Vikings are faced with decisions on the next steps for the former All-Pro. While sitting out eight games may seem like a reasonable – or excessive – penalty for a player who pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor, it’s worth keeping in mind that Peterson was being paid his full salary during his absence, so even though he wasn’t on the field, he hasn’t technically faced a suspension either.
According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, Peterson’s camp, including attorney Rusty Hardin, approached the NFL in the hopes of reaching an agreement on immediate reinstatement for the running back once his plea agreement became official. However, the league refused to engage in discussions, making it clear that a ruling would be forthcoming and that Peterson would be notified at that point.
Since the Vikings are on their bye, the NFL has a few additional days to make its decision, so we probably shouldn’t expect an announcement until early next week, though one could come sooner. With sponsors to consider, the NFL pushing for more punitive penalties for personal conduct violations, and the Vikings’ playoff chances still hanging on by a thread, it certainly doesn’t look like there’s a simple solution that will appease everyone.
What do you think? Will Peterson be back for the Vikings’ Week 11 contest against the Bears? Will we see him later this season? Or will he return to the field – for the Vikings or another team – in 2015?