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Zulgad: Peterson appears intent on making breakup with Vikings a messy one

Dec 27, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) rushes against the New York Giants in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Some breakups are destined to end up being messy no matter how hard one side might try to make the split amicable.

It appears that will be the case when it comes to the Vikings’ almost-certain divorce from Adrian Peterson.

Don’t fault the Vikings on this one.

General manager Rick Spielman has done his best to keep things peaceful since announcing the Vikings would not pick up the $18 million option on Peterson’s contract for 2017.

Spielman was truthful in telling Peterson that the Vikings needed to focus their free-agent efforts on pursuing offensive line help, and everyone knew the Vikings never intended to pay Peterson what would have been an outrageous and irresponsible sum for a running back.

Spielman also left the door open for Peterson to return to the Vikings on a lesser deal, although the contention from this corner has been this was more lip service than anything.

The Peterson camp, meanwhile, has gone into overdrive this week in attempting to create a market for the running back that might not even exist. It comes as no surprise that Peterson’s father and lead spokesman, Nelson, has made himself available to comment on his son’s free-agent pursuits.

Nelson Peterson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Tuesday that the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders have emerged as the two most likely destinations if Adrian leaves the Vikings. Last week, Nelson Peterson tossed out the New England Patriots as a team in which his son was interested.

On Wednesday, Adrian Peterson posted video of himself on Twitter that showed him in practice upon returning from a meniscus tear late last season. It’s an attempt by Peterson to show teams and fans that although he turns 32 on March 21 he still can be a dominant running back.

Honestly, it’s sad to watch. This is practice footage that proves nothing and came before Peterson played in a Week 15 game against Indianapolis in which his most memorable moment was a costly fumble. Peterson then sat out the final two games because of an adductor strain he suffered against the Colts.

How Peterson and his followers elect to approach free agency is their business, and something the Vikings likely don’t care about, but where this has started to get messy is because Adrian seems to be counting on the Vikings as his fallback option.

Nelson Peterson told the Pioneer Press that the Vikings should have extended an offer to Adrian instead of just setting him loose. “The Vikings should have come back with a number if you truly want him back,” Nelson Peterson told the paper. “I listened to (Spielman say last week at the NFL scouting combine that) ‘We’ll have to see what the market is.’ If you do want him back, give him a number. Is it $9 million? Is it $8 million? That would have made him feel more appreciated. … He’s done too much for the organization to be treated like (that.)”

This entire line of thinking is ridiculous. The Vikings have done right by Peterson for far longer than should have been expected.

As has been pointed out before, the Vikings bent over backward to make nice with Peterson after Peterson cost himself all but one game of the 2014 season because he faced child-abuse charges.

The Vikings would have been well within their rights at that time to end the relationship with Peterson. Instead they restructured his contract and begged for his forgiveness when he somehow convinced himself he was the person who had been mistreated.

As for the figure of $8 or $9 million thrown out by Nelson Peterson, someone needs to explain to Adrian and his father that he’s never going to come close to approaching that number. Peterson likely will be lucky to get $4 million and odds are good he’s going to have to take an incentive-laden deal that will pay him a minimal amount if he doesn’t have a very good season. Peterson also might have to wait to get that deal while some bigger names sign first when free agency opens on Thursday.

In the Pioneer Press article, Nelson Peterson took a shot at the Vikings’ offensive line while talking about why Adrian was interested in the Oakland Raiders.

“What we personally like is (the Raiders’) offensive line,” Nelson said. “The offensive line, they haven’t been playing around. They haven’t been trying to get offensive linemen from the bottom of the barrel and trying to make them into something.”

While there is some truth to this jab at the job the Vikings have done with their line, it’s funny that Nelson mentioned the Seattle Seahawks, whose offensive line last season might have been worse than the Vikings.

Odds are good that in the coming days, and until Peterson signs somewhere, the Peterson camp will attempt to paint the Vikings as the unappreciative bad guys who owe the running back something and should be thrilled if he comes back to them.

The reality is the Vikings owe Peterson nothing.

What they owe themselves, and what would be the smart play, would be to inform everyone that they have decided to move on from Peterson and that there will be no offer of any amount coming his way.

It’s time for the Vikings to realize their best option is to walk away and if the Peterson camp wants to throw a fit than so be it.

  • Razzy Moscoe

    Don’t fault Adrian Peterson for the comments made by his father.

    • John

      I agree razzy. A.P. Is in the class of a Walter Payton, and 90% of Minnesotan’s and the Vikings nation want him to finish here.

      • In the class of a Walter Payton, just lacking the class.

        • brian199511

          I see why you said this but Peterson is not in the class of Walter Payton on or off the field. Saying this as a Minnesotan and I don’t give a rat’s a*s if Peterson finishes his career here and in fact hope he moves on.

          • Agreed. So tired of that clueless clown.

        • Gordon Guffey

          No he isn’t ~ Payton could block and was a heck of a receiver out of the back field ~ Payton was in the class of Marshall Faulk but lack the team around him for much of his NFL life ~ And who could forget his HC in the Super Bowl when at the goal line when he pulled Payton out and such William ((( the Refrigerator ))) Perry in and let him score the only rushing TD of the game ~ Yeah that was a might fine HC the Bears had then ~ I’m so glad he bottomed out after that ~ Sorry for going on but Payton is one of my favorite RB’s of all times ~ I only disliked watching him when he was playing against our Vikings ~ However with that being said AP will never be in the same class as Faulk and Payton ~ Yes he is among the best ever pure RB who has always had a case of the fumbles at times when big games were on the line ~ But thats just how I see it ~

      • Terry S

        No we don’t

      • Gordon Guffey

        I dont know where you got you 90% of Minnesotan’s and the Vikings nation from but its not matching anything I have seen on TV or the internet ~ In fact I would have to say its the other way around based of what I have seen and I have seen a lot ~ Its more like 90% of the fan base are ready to move on from AP and his daddy and 10% cann’t move on ~

      • Scott Hustava

        No one wants him back…. Ur “90%” is more like 10%…. Of morons

  • brian199511

    Great column, right on, let the prima donna go with our thanks not to mention $97 million.

  • GordonGekko

    Another writer here that thinks up stupid SH IT to put on this site.

    • Terry S

      It was on the national news last night

    • BIGGERDOG 47

      is his name Gordon Gekko?????????

  • Lester Stkl

    Vikes F*&^ked! Spielman=loser. Mark my work, the loser Spielman will pick up so so OL. The Vikes will be lucky to win 9 games.Spielman fired next yr. Zim given 1 year to turn things around. Zim needs to get his nose out of Spielman’s rear end, and man up to him.

  • Cut bait and run away from this guy. It’s time to move on and begin a new chapter.

  • Andre Esters

    Sorry dad… I really don’t need anyone chirping on my behalf, I’ll let my work videos speak for me…

    Feels more and more like a Emmit Smith to Arizona kind of shame unfolding in the Peterson camp. I really hope his career doesn’t fizzle out like that…

  • FinFineman Jones

    AP’s Dad, Dont be a bitch,
    You have a boy who over uses a switch.

    We dont care Dad, what you say,
    take your boy’s 100 million…..and GO AWAY.

    And if you think AP’s the ultimate jock,
    Then why in the hell, cant he catch or block.

    The Vikes should never be your last resort,
    Unless thanking the Vikings relentlessly, is your final snort ….

    • tk6

      Amen Mr. Jones!! Well said!

  • Gordon Guffey

    AP needs to look at himself before saying anything ~ He has missed 22 games over the last 3 seasons and got paid dang well fr doing so ~ If anything AP’s dad should be telling his son to man up and grow up ~ But it APPEARS that he and his some are in their own league of thinking You Still Owe Me Even though I’m Not Producing ~ Well he was still producing fumbles at the end of last season ~

    This is a what have you done for me lately league and what has AP done over the last 3 season besides one 1400 yard season a long with key fumbles while making something close to 30 million ~ In 2014 when AP was beating his child and forced to set out the Vikings got close to 1200 yards rushing out of then rookie McKinnon who had never been a full time RB in high school or college and Matt Asiata ~ So judging by that AP had already starting slipping when he rushed for 1400 yards in 2015 ~ I haven’t looked because I dont really care at this point but I would be shocked to find out that they had more fumbles that AP ~

    I would be happy based on what I have read here and elsewhere If no one pick up AP and he was forced to retire for being a D!cK and crying after the Vikings stuck by him when they should have moved on after 2014 and used his money on the OL the last two seasons ~

  • Gordon Guffey

    On a really important side note ~

    Vikings place second-round tender on WR Adam Thielen
    By Andrew Krammer MARCH 8, 2017 — 2:40PM

  • Gordon Guffey

    Just in case you missed it ~ And as source go ((( couch cough ))

    Vikings interested in Bengals DT Domata Peko

  • Gordon Guffey

    ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports free agent Adrian Peterson is more interested in joining the Raiders than the Raiders are interested in him.
    Peterson’s father said on Tuesday that the Seahawks and Raiders were showing interest in his son, but on Wednesday it’s been revealed that probably isn’t true. Peterson’s camp seems to be trying its hardest to drum up interest in his services, but it doesn’t look like anyone is willing to believe it. The Raiders are more likely to look toward the draft or younger free-agent options.
    Related: Raiders
    Source: Adam Caplan on Twitter Mar 8 – 10:59 AM

    USA Today’s Tom Pelissero reports the Seahawks have “no immediate interest” in free agent Adrian Peterson.
    Pelissero leaves the door open for the Seahawks to possibly revisit Peterson, but that likely won’t happen until deeper into the offseason if he’s still without a team. That could be very possible. Peterson has been linked to a number of clubs, but all of the rumors seem to be started by Peterspn’s camp. He’s trying desperately to get a contender to come after him, but nobody appears to be taking the bait. The soon-to-be 32-year-old is unlikely to get the money he wants.
    Related: Seahawks
    Source: Tom Pelissero on Twitter Mar 8 – 8:53 AM

  • Gordon Guffey

    Well now that FA is close and people sure to get upset when the Vikings dont blow their whole cap on the first days of FA and might not spend any at all on day one here is a little something to keep your mind off of things we have no control over ~
    Mock Madness 2.0: Post-Combine, Pre-Free Agency Projections
    Posted 13 hours ago
    Eric Smith
    Team Reporter

  • Gordon Guffey

    This could really effect the Vikings free agent WR’s ~

    Another WR who has yet to make 1000 yards in any season ~ WOW
    FB are bring some top dollars also and Line could be gone ((( not that the Vikings where going to keep him )))

    Dolphins re-sign WR Kenny Stills to $32 million deal

  • Gordon Guffey

    According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Panthers are expected to sign Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil, barring any snags in the final talks.
    Vikings moving on from Kalil ~
    Former Vikings’ OT Matt Kalil expected to sign with brother Ryan’s Panthers if no snags in final talks, per sources. Kalil brother reunion

  • Barry Jon Smith

    bye bye ap. don’t fumble your retirement

  • RM4213

    “Zulgad: Peterson appears intent on making breakup with Vikings a messy one”… let me fix this for you…Zulgad appears intent on making breakup with Vikings a messy one”. Has Adrian Peterson said anything negative about the Vikings either before or after they declined his option?????? tweets from his ex-con father?…really? this is your story?… you have been writing articles about Peterson being a terrible player/team guy for years now… eventually your wish will come true…if you recycle the same article enough times for enough years…it might actually look to some like you knew what you were talking about.

  • cellhead

    I say good riddance AP!

  • Christopher Oliver

    Why all the hate for a.p.? I agree he may be done, but to resort to name calling and questioning his legacy with the team is ridiculous.

  • Lanny Stricherz

    9 Mil, 8Mil?? Is the dad using? He has had a lot of paydays with the Vikings when he didn’t even suit up. I would say with the running back class being the best in recent history in the draft, and with the plethora of RBs on the market, he should be given what the Vikes would have to give for a second round running back, which is probably around 2mil.


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