According to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, Adrian Peterson has indicated to the Minnesota Vikings that he’d be willing to restructure his contract for five potential trade destinations: the Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers.
While Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson continues to have an open dialogue with the franchise about his future, he has pondered potential trade destinations and would consider a contract restructure if a deal becomes necessary, sources have told Yahoo Sports.
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Another source inside Peterson’s circle told Yahoo Sports the running back has entertained returning to the Vikings, but has also considered potential trade destinations. Under the latter scenario, Peterson would also consider restructuring his contract to make a trade work.
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While the Dallas Cowboys have been reported to be a Peterson favorite destination, the running back prefers five teams: the Arizona Cardinals, the Indianapolis Colts, the Cowboys, the San Diego Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That said, even if Peterson requested a trade, the Vikings could refuse and simply pay him the $12.75 million in base salary he’s due in the 2015 season.
The story reiterated that Adrian Peterson never requested a trade, clearing up confusion from a misreported Jason Cole piece on where Adrian Peterson would like to play.
Peterson’s willingness to restructure is big news, because it would make moving the running back easier, especially to what have often been identified as the three most likely destinations: Indianapolis, Arizona and Dallas. Both Indianapolis and Arizona have a strong foundational belief in the need for a premier running back (as opposed to a committee), and have offensive coordinators or head coaches that would like to commit strongly to the run game.
The Dallas Cowboys have just come off their most successful season in the Tony Romo era, in part because of the running success of Demarco Murray, who is a free agent. The Cowboys have long been rumored to be infatuated with Peterson and Peterson told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he would love to finish his career there. On other occasions, Peterson has mentioned Texas before as a final destination.
Tampa Bay is home to Leslie Frazier, the former Minnesota Vikings head coach and current Buccaneers defensive coordinator—someone whom with Peterson has a strong personal relationship. Peterson spoke out against Leslie Frazier’s firing at the conclusion of the 2013 season. In defense of Frazier, Peterson said that he would love to finish his career with Frazier, though presumably as a head coach and not a defensive coordinator:
Adrian Peterson wants Frazier back On closing strong: “When you win it helps a lot I look forward to finishing my career with coach Frazier”
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) December 20, 2013
Vikings Territory stands by its report that the Minnesota Vikings are predetermined to have Adrian Peterson off the 2015 roster, and a trade is the most amenable solution for Rick Spielman and company.
Neither this report nor that one contain any information about whether or not the teams identified by Peterson’s camp are interested, though there is some level of presumption that Peterson and his agent, Ben Dogra, must have by naming those teams. Dallas is the only team known to be interested, and even that may be a vague infatuation more than a willingness to make the moves necessary to bring the former Oklahoma product in to Arlington.
The Dallas Cowboys have $6.6 million in cap space, the Arizona Cardinals have $13.5 million in cap space, the San Diego Chargers have $29.4 million in cap space, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have $33.4 million in cap space and the Indianapolis Colts have $41.3 million in cap space all per OverTheCap.com (the OTC number includes the Dez Bryant franchise tag, though he has not signed it yet).
Both the Cardinals and the Cowboys would have to do significant work to get under the cap enough to accommodate Peterson, even after a restructured deal and both have made a number of moves to that end—declining options, cutting players and alleviating cap space.
The saga continues.