Many of the rumors surrounding Adrian Peterson have focused on teams seeking to acquire the running back via trade. There hasn’t been much suggesting the Vikings would cut their star player, and USA Today’s Tom Pelissero confirmed that news this evening (via Twitter). According to the writer, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman informed Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, that the team would not be releasing the embattled running back. Pelissero notes that if the team had actually wanted to part ways with Peterson, they would have done so in September following the player’s indictment on child abuse charges.
According to Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo (on Twitter), Dogra texted the following:
“It was important for me to relay the position the Vikings are taking to Adrian. I want to make sure there is absolutely no confusion whatsoever.”
As Garafolo tweets, the wording of the agent’s text was very deliberate, and there have so far been zero public demands for Peterson to be moved. We heard in February that the running back was “uneasy” about returning to Minnesota, and recent reports have suggested that Peterson’s feelings towards the organization haven’t improved.
The Vikings releasing Peterson never appeared to be the logical route, as the organization would presumably rather acquire an asset for their best player as opposed to receiving nothing. While releasing the 29-year-old this offseason would save the organization $13MM, the extra cash wouldn’t do much good this far into free agency. Previous reports have suggested that prospective teams, including the Cardinals, have been scared away by the three years and $45MM remaining on Peterson’s contract.
Peterson’s 2014 campaign was limited to one game, when he ran for 75 yards on 21 carries. In 2013, he finished the season with 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning him the 11th-best rating among 55 running back candidates on Pro Football Focus (subscription required).