Rick Spielman, speaking with local media on a conference call a little bit ago, confirmed the obvious when he said that the signing of running back Latavius Murray means that Adrian Peterson won't be back in 2017.
"With us signing Murray, Adrian will move on elsewhere," the GM said.
Spielman said that late last night, when it seemed clear that a deal with Murray, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Raiders, was going to get done, he called Peterson's agent to share the news. He said he also sent Peterson a text message after midnight, when Murray signed.
Spielman said both he and team ownership spoke with Peterson today.
"Adrian is probably going to go down as one of the greatest Minnesota Vikings in team history," he said. "He'll always be a Viking, I know, to the fans and the people in this building. And he will always have a special place in this franchise and we are very fortunate that we were able to have Adrian Peterson spend most of his career as a Minnesota Viking."
The Vikings have already officially parted ways with eight of their free agents, not including Peterson, who does not seem close to signing with another team. Spielman said the exodus did not catch him off guard.
"These are very tough decisions that we make as we go through this. You put a plan in place before free agency starts and you have some players that you are targeting and you are trying to fill your needs with," he said. "It's very difficult when some of your players leave here, but you know they're probably not going to fit financially into the plan you have."
Spielman seemed pleased with what he and the Vikings have been able to accomplish since free agency officially started last Thursday. In addition to Murray, they have signed offensive tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers and defensive lineman Datone Jones, while also re-signing cornerback Terence Newman and signing wideout Adam Thielen to an extension.
"We feel like we've added some very good football players to our roster that are going to fill the needs we felt we had going into this," he said. "We'll continue to monitor the free agency and the free agents out there."