Our first instinct is to dismiss all the recent stories about a rift between Adrian Peterson and the Vikings as no more than posturing on the running back’s part as he attempts to gain some leverage.
That could very well be the case and we could find AP and the Vikings making up and going forward together again. But history between star players and the Vikings also suggests that once a thread is even picked at a little, the whole thing can unravel. Consider:
Randy Moss: Trade rumors started with Moss shortly after the end of the 2004 season, a regular season that infamously ended with him leaving the field early against Washington and then mooning the crowd during the playoffs in Green Bay.
The Vikings denied the rumors consistently, including this quote in early February of 2005 from vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski: “I don’t know why this thing keeps being brought up. It hasn’t even been discussed at all.”
Less than a month later, Moss was traded to Oakland.
Daunte Culpepper: In January of 2006, after a disastrous start to his 2005 season and then a devastating knee injury, Culpepper and his agent tried to talk with the Vikings about a raise. Really, this happened.
The Vikings told Culpepper no, and tensions rose. By late February, things were really boiling. But Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, asked if Culpepper was going to play for the Vikings in 2006, said: “That is our plan, yes. Always was.” Two weeks later, Culpepper said he wanted to be traded or released. A week after that, he was traded to Miami.
Percy Harvin: The mercurial WR was hurt midway through the 2012 season and essentially vanished after that, leading to speculation that he wanted out. Trade chatter continued into February, but in the middle of that month Vikings GM Rick Spielman said, “We have no intent of trading Percy Harvin.” Less than a month later, Harvin was traded to Seattle.
Adrian Peterson: The Vikings RB missed most of last season after child abuse charges surfaced. One recent report suggests Peterson doesn’t trust the Vikings, while another from CBSsports.com says Peterson’s agent and Brzezinski had a heated exchange at the NFL combine.
Last week, Spielman said, “we expect Adrian Peterson to be a part of our football team.” So maybe this is all much ado about nothing? Or maybe, if history repeats itself, we should expect Peterson to be traded sometime in the next three to four weeks.