After arbitrator Harold Henderson denied Adrian Peterson‘s appeal earlier today, ensuring that Peterson’s suspension would remain in place, the Vikings running back voiced his displeasure with the case to Ben Goessling of ESPN.com, and even admitted that he’s thought about quitting football.
“I’ve considered retiring from the NFL,” Peterson told Goessling in a 60-minute phone call. “I still made $8MM this year. I’ve thought about getting back into the real estate (business in Texas) I’m already in. That’s something I’ve been interested in, something I’m involved in. I’ve thought about getting back into that. I’ve thought about going after the Olympics — you only live once. It might be time for me to pursue that, as well.
I love playing football, don’t get me wrong, but this situation is deeper than that. For me, it’s like, ‘Why should I continue to be a part of an organization or a business that handles players the way they do? Making money off the field anyway, why not continue to pursue that (Olympic) dream and pursue other dreams and hang up the cleats?'”
Peterson also relayed that he plans on filing a federal lawsuit against the NFL, claiming that league official Troy Vincent told him in early November that if he attended a meeting with Roger Goodell, he would be suspended for just two games. Peterson ultimately opted against taking the meeting because the league refused to inform of the specifics and implications of the summit.
A report yesterday suggested that the Vikings would welcome Peterson back to the team, though they would likely want to him to accept a reduced salary — currently, the average annual value of his contract is more than $5MM higher than the second-highest paid running back. Retirement talk aside, Peterson doesn’t believe he should have to take a pay cut from his current salary (his 2015 cap hit is $15.4MM) to remain in Minnesota. “I don’t see why it would be the case,” he said. “I see me being a better player than I was.”