There will be an Adrian Peterson sighting in Minnesota, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who hears from the running back that he plans to rejoin the Vikings and attend the team’s OTAs, starting today. A source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) that Peterson “misses the game.”
“I decided to come back just to get around my teammates and the coaching staff,” Peterson told Anderson (TwitLonger link). “There’s never been any love lost with those guys. Basically it’s time for me to come in and test the waters and re-familiarize myself with our offense and the direction they’re trying to go in.”
Peterson, who missed nearly the entire 2014 season due to an investigation into possible child abuse, had yet to report to the Vikings this spring. Initially, it seemed as though he and agent Ben Dogra were pushing hard for a trade out of Minnesota, but after the draft came out and went without a deal, the running back and his agent appeared to be angling for a new contract, one that featured more guaranteed salary.
While Peterson would presumably still like to rework his deal to get some additional guaranteed money up front – and perhaps guarantee some or all of his 2016 salary as well – that remains just a wish for now, per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, who tweets that there are no contract discussions taking place between the two sides at the moment. The 30-year-old is under contract for three more years, and is scheduled to earn a $12.75MM base salary this season.
Peterson’s contract did include a $250K workout bonus that he was only entitled to if he participated in all of Minnesota’s organized team activities, according to various reports. Although his absence from the first few OTAs meant Peterson forfeited that bonus, it’s possible the Vikings restore it as a show of good faith — that’s just my speculation, however.
According to both Albert Breer of NFL.com and Ben Goessling of ESPN.com (Twitter links), head coach Mike Zimmer played a significant role in mending fences with Peterson. The former MVP spoke to Anderson about his recent discussion with Zimmer (TwitLonger link):
“The conversation between Mike Zimmer and I went well. He was able to express what place [his comments that Peterson can “play for us or not play”] came from and I was able to listen. I was also able to express how I received that and we came to common ground about it. That was the end of it. I told him to tell the family I said hello and I’ll see you next week.”