Friday, July 31, 2015

The Vikings have released the following statement after discussions with the NFL, and have placed Adrian Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List. Statement below:

This has been an ongoing and deliberate process since last Friday’s news. In conversations with the NFL over the last two days, the Vikings advised the League of the team’s decision to revisit the situation regarding Adrian Peterson. In response, the League informed the team of the option to place Adrian on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which will require that Adrian remain away from all team activities while allowing him to take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved. After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian.

We are always focused on trying to make the right decision as an organization. We embrace our role – and the responsibilities that go with it – as a leader in the community, as a business partner and as an organization that can build bridges with our fans and positively impact this great region. We appreciate and value the input we have received from our fans, our partners and the community.

While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian. We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community. Adrian emphasized his desire to avoid further distraction to his teammates and coaches while focusing on his current situation; this resolution accomplishes these objectives as well.

We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process, but we firmly believe and realize this is the right decision. We hope that all of our fans can respect the process that we have gone through to reach this final decision. – Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf

This means that Adrian will be paid by the Vikings but will not count against the 53-man roster, giving the Vikings another roster spot they can fill, presumably giving room for Zach Line to join the roster once more (I completely forgot about Jerome Simpson, who would take this spot). Adrian will stay on the list until his legal proceedings are done.

Those legal proceedings will very likely conclude well after the 2014 season is over, which could mean that he isn’t only done for the season but for the Vikings overall. This means that Adrian Peterson will not earn a Credited Season (which requires full pay status for at least three games), which means he does not count as a nine-year veteran next year, but as an eight-year veteran. That’s significant for a few things, including veteran’s minimum, post-retirement benefits and so on. Luckily for Peterson, the minimum salary for an eight-year veteran is the same as a nine-year veteran (though the maximum benefit triggers at 10+ years).

This should not affect his contract, however, just his status for various benefits. His pay should not count against the salary cap as far as I can tell.

The Vikings in a small way have admitted a mistake on their part for how they handled it in the past—the phrase “after further reflection” seems to imply that they reconsidered the wisdom of the decision. We’ll probably never know if it was a result of the numerous sponsorships being pulled or a genuine reconsideration, or (more likely) a combination of the two.

UPDATE: There’s a statement from Adrian Peterson’s agent:

This is the best possible outcome given the circumstances. Adrian understands the gravity of the situation and this enables him to take care of his personal situation. We fully support Adrian and he looks forward to watching his teammates and coaches being successful during his absence.

UPDATE2: Adam Schefter reports that they do intend to bring Adrian back.

UPDATE3: NFL Statement:

This is a good decision that will allow Adrian Peterson to resolve his personal situation and the Vikings to return the focus to the football field.

For an analysis of Matt Asiata as a starting back, click here. For the long-term effect of his absence, click here.

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Several different reports have indicated that the Vikings may not end up playing Adrian Peterson on Sunday once more. First reported by Pro Football Talk—

Then reported by Mike Freeman—

The hope is that if this is the case, the Vikings can put together a more specific gameplan that caters to the different strengths of the two other running backs on the roster.

Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson is losing sponsor after sponsor, while the NFL and the Vikings are being threatened with the same.

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Hooray. All info in the headline. Confirming tweet:

I usually try to provide a greater implication to these stories, but I don’t have anything to tell you that you don’t already know. He cleared waivers, naturally. The Vikings cut him to make room for Joe Banyard.

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That headline feels like it should end with a question mark, doesn’t it?

As we all know, the Minnesota Vikings put up their first stinker on Sunday, in front of the TCF Bank Stadium.  They had no answers for Julian Edelman, were prone to stupid penalties, and suffered from very poor quarterback play after the first drive of the game.

Finding “Player of the Game” nominations has been an interesting task, but I really want to do this every week.  Here they are:

CORDARRELLE PATTERSON:  I was perplexed as to why Patterson was so under-utilized in this game (he got no carries), but he did lead the Vikings in receiving yards (56), including a 26 yarder that was the longest play from scrimmage the Vikings had all day.  He also returned one kick for 23 yards.

JASPER BRINKLEY:  As is his style, Brinkley made a few quality downhill plays against the Patriots on Sunday, and he ended up leading the team in solo tackles (8) and total tackles (11).

HARRISON SMITH:  This guy should probably win, and probably will, as he was the only player that looked the exact opposite of “sluggish” all game long.  Smith played like the firecracker we’ve learned to expect out of him on his way to seven solo tackles (eight total).

JEFF LOCKE:  He couldn’t bring down Chandler Jones to avoid the score on the blocked field goal at the end of the first half, but he seemed to at least try.  Locke averaged 45.6 yards on five punting attempts.

UPDATE: Peterson was evidently cleared in this most recent case because he did not cause the scarring. More from KHOU:

I don’t know if this means things are going to settle.

UPDATE2: Mike Garafolo has a statement from Hardin:

UPDATE3: Radisson Hotels is suspending its sponshorship of the Vikings –

They had a pretty big sponsorship, and their logo is on the screen behind the podium of every Vikings presser. This is their statement:

Radisson takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children. We are closely following the situation and effective immediately, Radisson is suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances.

UPDATE4: Vikings have released the following statement:

As part of the information we have gathered throughout this process, we were made aware of an allegation from 2013 in which authorities took no action against Adrian. We will defer any further questions to Adrian’s attorney Rusty Hardin.

This should mean no further action regarding Adrian.

UPDATE5: If you’re still following this story, the governor of the state of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, has released a statement about the proceedings.

It is an awful situation. Yes, Mr. Peterson is entitled to due process and should be “innocent until proven guilty.” However, he is a public figure; and his actions, as described, are a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the State of Minnesota. Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state. Therefore, I believe the team should suspend Mr. Peterson, until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system.

However, I will not turn my back on the Vikings and their fans, as some have suggested. The Vikings belong to Minnesota – and in Minnesota. This has been the team’s only home; and our citizens, including myself, have been its most dedicated fans.

As you can imagine, the governor who pushed through the Vikings stadium bill is in a bit of a bind, as he needs to defend having the Vikings in Minnesota, but cannot help but condemn their actions. You may not like Dayton politically or personally, but it remains significant that a public figure very important for the Vikings is outspoken against what they did.

UPDATE6: More companies are distancing themselves from the Vikings, NFL or Peterson.

Nike has pulled all their Adrian Peterson merchandise from their stores (you can still buy them online). Anheuser-Busch has released the following statement:

We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season. We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league.

The Anheuser-Busch contract is a six-year, $1.2 billion deal.

Mylan, the sponsor Adrian was working with to raise awareness for allergy issues, has pulled its sponsorship, saying “our work with him is now complete.”

UPDATE7: Looks like a mutual cancellation this time of an event dealing with domestic violence:

UPDATE8: Another politician has jumped on board the “bench Adrian” train—Al Franken. Statement below:

It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear about what happened to this child. I’m a diehard Vikings fan, and watching the games on Sundays has been one of my favorite things to do since I was a kid. But this is just wrong, and I think the Vikings made the wrong decision here. This is in the hands of law enforcement now, and it must go through the judicial process, but I don’t believe Adrian Peterson should be allowed to play until that happens. A lot of kids look up to these players, and it’s not ok for the Vikings to send the signal that what happened is acceptable. This is bigger than a football game.

UPDATE9: After Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk wondered if the University of Minnesota was going to be next, they have released the following statement, per Andrew Krammer of 1500 ESPN:

The Agreement does not govern the Vikings’ personnel decisions concerning conduct unrelated to Stadium

UPDATE10: Fran Tarkenton is “embarrassed” by the Vikings’ decision, he says in an interview with TSN (Tim Graham and David William Naylor). He says “these people should not be playing.” He points the finger directly at the owner.

You can listen to it here.

UPDATE11: According to KSTP (by way of the Star Tribune), Adrian Peterson’s All Day Foundation is on hiatus. Further, Special Olympics MN has severed its ties with Peterson. They previously worked with Peterson on a number of issues, including putting together PSAs, hosting charity golf events, holding clinics and so on.

UPDATE12: ProFootballtalk is hearing the Vikings could reverse the decision to reinstate Adrian:

UPDATE13: The NFL has responded to the Anheuser-Busch move—”We understand. We are taking action and there will be much more to come.”

UPDATE14: And now the All Day Foundation is taking shots at the media. Currently on their website:

We have taken the Adrian Peterson’s All Day Foundation website offline to protect our charity partners from the continued harassment they have received from the media.

Unfortunately, over the past few years when there was positive news, the media paid little attention to our nonprofit partners. Now, the charities are being harassed, judged and placed in uncomfortable positions. They are being pushed to make statements and business decisions that are taking time away from the good work they are doing.

The Foundation will continue to support the causes that Adrian and his family care about and will consider how the current situation impacts the direction for Adrian’s philanthropy.

UPDATE15: University of Minnesota Health, the Vikings’ health provider, has released a statement:

University of Minnesota Health is in the process of evaluating the situation related to the Vikings sponsorship and will issue a statement when any decisions are made.

UPDATE16: The mother of the four-year old child has released as statement through her team:

We represent the mother of the minor child of Adrian Peterson, the NFL player that is the subject of an indictment in Montgomery County, Texas. My client, on behalf of herself and their son, wishes to express her extreme outrage at the invasion of their privacy that has occurred through the publication of highly confidential and private data obtained regarding them by the press without their permission or consent. My client is hurt and outraged that the press would publish throughout the world pictures of their minor son and publish statements allegedly made as part of the private and confidential criminal investigative file. My client asks the press and the public to respect the privacy rights of herself their son by immediately removing any and all pictures and statements that are part of the private and confidential criminal investigative file and that should not be in the possession of the press and the public. My client, on behalf of herself and their son, asks the press to immediately cease and desist from further publicizing private and confidential information about herself o  their son gathered in connection with the indictment of Mr. Peterson.

In making this statement it is the mother’s intent to not comment at this time with respect to any matters involving the case.

Unless Adam decides otherwise, we will not be taking down the texts published by KHOU news, in part because as the story has become public and awareness and discussion of the issues of corporal punishment, child injury and child abuse are driven forward, establishing the different degrees of intent is a critical part of the conversation.

We have never hosted the photos.

UPDATE17: The All Day Foundation is offline. and have published a message with that simple statement.

UPDATE18: Wheaties is no longer contractually connected to Peterson, but they had his image on their website until Monday.

UPDATE19:  Castrol has ended its relationship with Adrian Peterson.

In light of recent event, Castrol has decided to end our relationship with Adrian Peterson.

Original story below, including the embarrassing bit about trusting KHOU News.

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