Peterson, Vikings both look for long-term deal

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 29, 2011 - 5:54 AM

The star running back has been quiet except to vent frustration over the Rice trade.

hide

Adrian Peterson

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

While Frank Gore holds out and Chris Johnson threatens to do the same, Vikings All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson is making news by, well, not making news.

At least not when it comes to what could have become a combustible contract situation.

Peterson told the team he will report on time, with or without the comfort of the long-term deal he wants. Like Gore in San Francisco and Johnson in Tennessee, Peterson is entering the final year of his contract while playing the position that typically produces the shortest NFL careers.

Gore, coming off a season-ending fractured hip, is scheduled to make $4.9 million this year, while Johnson, a 2,000-yard rusher in 2009, will make $800,000. Another disgruntled running back, Chicago's Matt Forte, also isn't happy about the final year of his contract, or the fact his $550,000 salary is less than half of what his backup, former Viking Chester Taylor ($1.25 million), will make.

Yes, Peterson is due to make a lot more. Yes, it's $10.72 million. But Peterson also knows that he's positioned himself for a guarantee of about $25 million, or more, based on terms of the deal Carolina's DeAngelo Williams signed on Wednesday.

Williams, a 28-year-old who's missed 13 games because of injuries the past two seasons, signed a five-year, $43 million deal with $21 million guaranteed. Peterson, 26, who has missed only three games in four years, has a league-high 5,782 yards rushing since joining the Vikings in 2007.

"I think Adrian is trying to do the right thing as a leader on that team, and I admire that," said former Vikings quarterback and current CBS analyst Rich Gannon. "Other players get bad advice sometimes about holding out, and it usually doesn't work when you put a gun to the head of the owner or the general manager. Adrian is one of the best players in the game, he's a workhorse and he went from all those fumbles two years ago to just one last year. He'll get paid in time."

Six months ago, Emmitt Smith, Hall of Famer and the NFL's career rushing leader, told the Star Tribune that his advice to Peterson would be to hold out and force the Vikings to give him a long-term deal before the start of training camp. It's possible the Vikings might do just that because it's also to their benefit to reduce Peterson's monstrous $12.775 million salary cap number through a long-term commitment.

"Adrian Peterson is a special kind of guy, and if the Minnesota Vikings believe in Adrian Peterson the way I think they do, then they will do something [before camp]," Smith said. "[Otherwise], you're alienating a player because your actions speak louder than your words."

Smith knows all about holdouts and the leverage an elite player can create. In 1993, he held out as the Cowboys started 0-2. Smith signed and then led the Cowboys to a Super Bowl victory while becoming the only player in NFL history to win the rushing title, league MVP and Super Bowl MVP in the same season.

Assuming Peterson does report on time, he'll face questions from the local media for the first time since last season. He'll no doubt be asked about comparing the league's labor situation to "modern-day slavery" during a March interview with Yahoo! Sports. He'll also be asked to elaborate on his feelings about losing teammate and close friend Sidney Rice, who signed with Seattle on Wednesday. On Thursday, Peterson used his Twitter account to vent his frustration toward the Vikings.

"I CAN'T Believe the Vikings let my boy Sidney Rice get away!" Peterson tweeted. "I didn't think we wouldn't be playing together this year! WOW!"

"The 'modern-day slavery' comment, that was maybe a little out of character and just the wrong thing to say at the absolute wrong time," Gannon said. "Guys today really need to think hard before they push the send button.

"As for what he said about Rice, that's understandable. You go to battle with guys and you don't like to see them move on, so you get emotional about it. I've done that before. The bottom line is Adrian will show up, and I don't think anyone will question his attitude about football."

  • VIKINGS TODAY: SIGNINGS BEGIN • SUNDAY: PLAYERS REPORT TO MANKATO • MONDAY: CAMP OPENS

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 80 FINAL
Chicago 111
Golden State 108 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Utah 94
Denver 114 FINAL
Portland 120
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 4 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Colorado 5
Dallas 4 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
NJIT 78
Notre Dame 66 FINAL
Kentucky 68
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Houston 0
Seattle 0 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What should the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close