Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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I’ve written a number of Adrian Peterson articles this week that ended up getting deleted forever.  To be honest, I’m kind of shell-shocked and am just going to try and push forward, for now.  I’m hoping you find that somewhat refreshing.

During today’s media circus at Winter Park, coach Mike Zimmer revealed that linebacker Chad Greenway has suffered a broken hand, and his status is in question.  Zimmer said he is hopeful that Greenway will be able to play.  I’d source this report with a link, but the press conference was aired on pretty much every channel on my TV, so take your pick.

Right tackle Phil Loadholt (ankle), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (groin), and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (shoulder) were also mentioned by Zimmer.  He seemed particularly optimistic that Rhodes and Floyd will be good to go for the upcoming game in New Orleans.

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.

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