CBS Sports is reporting that Ben Dogra, the agent for suspended and disgruntled Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and Rob Brzezinski, Vikings vice president of football operations, got into a “heated verbal altercation” about Peterson at the scouting combine and had to be separated.
According to the CBS report, Dogra also “made it clear that Peterson would never play there again.”
If the report has merit, it would be the latest twist in the Peterson saga, which has quickly turned ugly. The Vikings have praised Peterson in the media in recent weeks, saying they would like him to play for the team this season. But on Thursday, Peterson told ESPN he is uneasy about a return.
NFL teams routinely use the scouting combine to touch base with agents about their players, whether they are soon-to-be free agents, players with tricky contract situations or just players they want to check in on. While the Vikings are allowed only limited communication with Peterson through their legal team while he is suspended, they are allowed to speak with his agent. Brzezinski is the team’s lead contract negotiator.
The report did not say what specifically led to Brzezinski’s blow-up with Dogra.
The Vikings are declining comment.
The Vikings were checking out running backs at the combine over the weekend in the event that they will be without Peterson’s services going forward. He is eligible to be reinstated on April 15.
If Peterson isn’t reinstated until then, more than a month after the start of free agency, most of the NFL’s free-agent money will have been spent, giving more leverage to the Vikings if they do request that he take a pay cut to reduce his restrictive $12.75 million base salary and $15.4 million cap hit for 2015.
Given his age, contract and recent legal woes, Peterson might not have much trade value if he is requesting one, though it is expected that teams would show interest were he to become available.