Saturday, April 18, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "adrian peterson"

adrian peterson

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Mike Zimmer had a nice and tidy post-season presser that didn’t make too many waves.

He is proud of what they’ve accomplished.  He wants to see improvement.  He is humble in front of the cameras.  He has a plan to get Cordarrelle Patterson up to snuff.  He respects Chad Greenway.  He’s taking a little time off before getting started on his 2015 preparations.

One of the unavoidable topics brought up, however, is one that will largely shape this offseason for the Minnesota Vikings and greatly impact Zimmer’s plans for 2015.

When asked about the possibility of an Adrian Peterson return next season, Zimmer stated exactly what we would expect him to state.

“Adrian was always great with me. I think he’s a good person,” Zimmer said. “I think obviously he’s a great running back, and if it works out that way and things work out and he gets his life in order — that’s the most important thing, he gets his life in order, he gets the opportunity to come back — then I will be in his corner whatever the decision is made.”

Zimmer then said some words that caught the eye of those expecting an offseason trade.

“I think he would add value to any team, to be honest with you. I think the kid’s a heck of a football player.”

Vikings fans have gotten used to being the early game this season, but today we have to endure until round two.  So, while you wait, we’ve rounded up some Vikings-tastic reading to quench your thirst.  Here you go:

 

Well, the Packers are coming to town and it is hard to think of a time that they’ve ever been playing better football than they are right now.  The Vikings are getting some closure on the Adrian Peterson ordeal, but continue to find ways to struggle on the field.  The Vikings are not a pushover, however, and it is Packers week… so, get caught up on everything via the below links, get your game face on, and hope for the best on Sunday.

 

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Adrian Peterson’s suspension has yet to be appealed, but there is very little optimism that he’ll return to the Vikings this season, if ever.  Today, Jerick McKinnon (back) and Matt Asiata (concussion) were both unable to practice.

All of that combined apparently caused the Vikings to evaluate outside options, one of which was former Texans and Browns running back Ben Tate.  Tate was waived by the Browns yesterday after reports of his discontent with his role in Cleveland’s offense were widely distributed.

Tate was selected in the second round of the 2010 Draft by Houston with a pick the Vikings held (but traded away to move up and select Toby Gerhart).  There, injuries and the emergence of Arian Foster limited his production, but he always seemed like a plenty capable spot starter.  His first season in Cleveland obviously didn’t turn out as he had hoped, but at age 26 it seems there may be some value in this move.

He is currently playing under a two year deal worth a total of $6.2 million, but none of his 2015 salary is guaranteed and the Vikings could cut him with minimal (or no) impact to the salary cap depending on the timing.  Tate’s best rushing season came as a rookie when he gained 942 yards (5.4 average) and four touchdowns, but perhaps even more interesting is that last season he caught 34 passes with Houston.

We now have a new running back to consider when predicting the future direction of this Vikings roster, but the short-term possibility that he could be active on Sunday is perhaps even more intriguing.

The Vikings released tight end MarQueis Gray in a corresponding move.

It is extremely difficult to evaluate the Adrian Peterson situation in a vacuum where human emotions do not exist, but that is exactly what the Wilf Family and Rick Spielman will have to do in the near future.

I honestly believe that there are people within the Vikings organization that care for Adrian Peterson and regard him as much more as a football player.  I know that people I have worked with for a significant period of time often become more than just someone that uses the same letterhead as me, and I can’t imagine Peterson’s time at Winter Park has been anything different for many employees of the Minnesota Vikings.

I have speculated in the past that this very emotional human reaction played a role in the team’s initial decision to play Peterson after these allegations became public, but eventually the business side of the NFL trumped all else and the organization and the NFL did an about face.   Public outcry, coupled with sponsorships pulling their names, meant the Vikings had to send the NFL’s best running back to his couch for eight weeks.

The Wilf’s are business men, however, and never once did I expect them to release Peterson from his lucrative contract.  In the beginning of September, he was their single most valuable human resource, and you don’t get as rich as Zygi Wilf by selling stocks when they are at their lowest.  I expect the Vikings to employ this same basic principle of business in the coming weeks as they are forced to make a decision regarding Peterson’s status with the organization.

Translation:  I think Peterson will be on the field as soon as the NFL will allow it.

It is tough to pay a guy that much money without getting anything in return.  It is nearly impossible to trade a player in the offseason if you aren’t even willing to play him yourself.  It is quite difficult to recover the trade value that has been lost without letting Peterson take some handoffs and show the 31 other teams why he is still more than just a troubled running back.

Nothing makes any amount of business sense, at least from where I am sitting, other than getting Peterson back in pads as soon as possible.

I still think there are human elements at play here, but I fully expect the investment gurus within the Wilf Family to aggressively attempt to recover Peterson’s stock value, and I don’t think that will be motivated by anything other than a desire to increase the perceived value of employee number 28.

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