Frazier: Peterson's coming to camp without new contract

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG and JUDD ZULGAD , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: July 25, 2011 - 10:52 PM

Adrian Peterson's contract situation will not prevent the All-Pro running back from reporting to Mankato on Sunday, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said.

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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson

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Adrian Peterson's contract situation will not prevent the All-Pro running back from reporting to Mankato on Sunday, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said.

Asked Monday if Peterson gave him any assurances that he will report on time with or without a new long-term deal, Frazier said: "Oh yeah, we had a good conversation. And that's not an issue, and he's looking forward to camp like all of our guys are."

With the Vikings reportedly $5.1 million over the $120.4 million salary cap, the team is expected to work out a long-term contract with Peterson, who's in the final year of his rookie contract and has a monstrous salary cap number of $12.775 million. A long-term deal would lower the cap number and improve Peterson's comfort level.

Peterson and cornerback Antoine Winfield were among the first players Frazier talked to after the lockout was lifted. "Both of those guys, there was tremendous excitement in their voice," Frazier said. "Both feel like they're in the best shape of their lives."

Keeping an open mind

Christian Ponder, the 12th overall pick in the draft, has voiced optimism that he will be the starter on Sept. 11 when the Vikings begin the regular season. Frazier certainly did not close the door on that possibility.

"Our coaches feel very comfortable in doing whatever's necessary to put us in the best position to be successful when we open the season against San Diego, and that may mean a young quarterback being in that role," Frazier said.

"But we're going to explore avenues. We've talked about that throughout the process, and we're going to talk some more when this press conference is over."

Frazier has not closed the door on Joe Webb or Rhett Bomar competing for the starting job.

Although he isn't signed, Ponder can voluntarily visit Winter Park on Tuesday and plans to do so.

"It's the first place I'm heading in the morning," Ponder said, "so I'll be up there to meet with [offensive coordinator Bill] Musgrave and talk some ball and finally to get to catch up to what we've been missing all summer."

Wait and see

Defensive end Ray Edwards, asked about a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he likely will sign with the Philadelphia Eagles, said that was news to him. Initially, it was believed the Falcons would pursue Edwards.

"I have no idea what's going on," said Edwards, an unrestricted free agent "My agent called me. I really don't know. We'll see."

Edwards, the Vikings' starting left end who was second on the team last season with eight sacks, had made it clear this offseason that he would not be returning to Minnesota. He seemed to soften that stance a bit on Monday. But Edwards also admitted he didn't see the Vikings making him a solid offer and sounded less than enthused when it was mentioned the power structure at Winter Park has been altered with Frazier now the coach.

"I don't think too much of the power structure has changed," he said. "Like I said, I'll weigh my options and see what they come with, if they even come. That's pretty much how I look at it on that end."

Time on their side?

NFL teams don't have to be compliant with the salary cap until the league year officially begins at 3:01 p.m. on Aug. 4. At that point, the team's top 51 players must be salary cap compliant.

Rick Spielman, Vikings vice president of player personnel, wouldn't reveal specifics of the team's plans to deal with its salary cap issues. There are several possibilities, including long-term deals with Peterson and franchise player Chad Greenway, who currently carries a cap figure of $10 million.

"We've identified all our key guys and what point we'll be approaching those guys, and we'll just work from there," Spielman said.

Etc.

• The Vikings were allowed to begin negotiations with undrafted free agents on Monday night. Those players can be signed Tuesday morning.

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