Sounds like a face-to-face Adrian Peterson/#Vikings management meeting will take place tomorrow, per contact.
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) March 4, 2015
The news, which comes on the heels of a Vikings Territory report that the team is exploring all options to trade Peterson, signifies head coach Mike Zimmer’s first chance to speak with the embattled running back since he was suspended early in the 2014 season.
General manager Rick Spielman is set to make the trip with Zimmer, where the two will discus Peterson’s future with the team. Less than a month ago, Spielman was one of Peterson’s most vocal supporters:
“Time heals things. There’s no question, our ownership has made statements, I’ve made statements, our head coach has made statements that we want Adrian Peterson back with the Minnesota Vikings.”
Now, the sides are farther apart than anyone had ever imagined. The firestorm erupted at the NFL Scouting Combine, when Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, had to be separated from Vikings vice president of football operations, Rob Brzezinski. During the altercation, Dogra made it clear that Peterson would never suit up for Minnesota again, telling Brzezinski: “He will never play another game for the Vikings. It’s over.”
After weeks of court rulings and public statements, this meeting may be the team’s first and only chance to end the Adrian Peterson era in Minnesota on “good” terms. As Arif wrote, Peterson is willing to restructure his contract to facilitate a trade with five teams — the Cardinals, Colts, Buccaneers, Cowboys, and Chargers.
Peterson is under contract with the Vikings until 2017, and is set to earn $12.5 million in 2015. A restructure would make moving Peterson much easier for Rick Spielman and the front office, freeing up cap space to use on more pressing roster improvements.
Tomorrow’s meeting is a “last hurrah” of sorts for Mike Zimmer. The second-year head coach enjoyed a successful 7-9 season in 2014, even with the unfolding drama surrounding Adrian Peterson. Zimmer and Peterson share a mutual respect for one another, and Zimmer may be the team’s last chance to keep the 2012 NFL MVP. But, at 29-years-old, Peterson is at an age where injuries, decline, and a regression in productivity become valid concerns — it may finally be time for a mutual “goodbye”.
We will keep you updated on the latest Peterson news from Houston as the saga continues to unfold.