Mark Craig: How long can AP remain an exception?

  • Updated: April 3, 2014 - 8:50 PM

When Chris Johnson is released by the Tennessee Titans, as reportedly will happen, Adrian Peterson will be the only running back in the league with a salary cap figure over $10 million. He’s at $14.4 million.

Obviously, Peterson isn’t going anywhere this year. But the chances of him making it to the end of 2017 as a Viking under the terms of his seven-year deal are small.

The 2016 season is the first year of the new stadium and the first year that there is no dead money in Peterson’s contract. His cap number is $15 million that season and $17 million the following season. So if the Vikings wanted to, they could cut him in either of those seasons and save that full amount against the cap.

Peterson will be 31 in 2016.

Of course, a lot can and will happen between now and when the Vikings will be forced to take a hard look at whether Peterson’s cap number makes sense.

But in light of what’s going on with running backs in general and Johnson in particular, it does make you realize that reality can be harsh even for productive members of the 2,000-yard club.

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