As the NFL and NFLPA slug it out over Adrian Peterson’s potential reinstatement, there is logic to be found on both sides of the story when it comes to what you think of him as a human being and whether you believe he deserves another chance on the football field with the Vikings.
If you believe he has paid enough of a price by missing half this season (albeit while still cashing checks) and deserves to return to his job now that his legal case is resolved, we can find some common ground with that argument.
If you think, based on what you know, that what he is said to have done to his 4-year-old son is too much too handle and never want to see him in purple again, we can find common ground there, too.
Where we don’t think there is an argument is on this point: Does Adrian Peterson, if he returns to the Vikings, make them a better football team?
Of course. Absolutely. Yes.
We have seen arguments to the contrary, that the Vikings are doing just fine with their current running attack and that they shouldn’t mess with a good thing (and the development of rookie Jerick McKinnon). This much is true: Minnesota is 11th in the NFL in rushing yards and seventh in yards per carry (4.5).
The obvious counter to that is they would almost certainly be just as good or better with Peterson … not to mention that the respect he commands would open up more room in the passing game for rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater, who has never thrown a regular-season pass with Peterson in the mix.
So yes, on moral ground, there is a discussion to be had. On the field? There’s no doubt Peterson would help the Vikings.