After chatting with a few local reporters here in Indianapolis this morning, GM Rick Spielman playfully bet us one dollar that the first question of his official podium press conference at the scouting combine would be about running back Adrian Peterson, whose option will not be picked up.
It was actually about the Sam Bradford trade — pay up, Rick — but there were a few AP questions before his 15-minute podium session ended.
Spielman said that on Friday he informed both Adrian Peterson and his agent that the Vikings would decline his $18 million option for 2017.
“They were very good conversations,” Spielman said. “Very positive.”
Spielman said he was upfront with Peterson and made it clear that even though they are letting him hit free agency, the Vikings are not closing the door on a potential return for the leading rusher in franchise history.
“We are very open, just as we are with all our players,” Spielman said.
Spielman declined to say what price the Vikings would be willing to pay to keep Peterson. He also said he doesn’t know what his market will be.
“You may have expectations today and those expectations all the sudden change within a week,” he said, later adding, “I wish I had an answer.”
The Vikings will monitor Peterson’s status once he officially reaches free agency next week and could still re-sign him. But no matter what, they are expected to grab one of the many good running backs in April’s draft.
Spielman said the Vikings will “weigh all the potential options that are out there.” But it would be a surprise if they spent more than a couple million dollars a year for a free-agent runner not named Adrian Peterson.