AnalysisOff-The-Field Issues

2014 Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson to Plead Guilty to Class A Misdemeanor

UPDATE: Per ProFootballTalk, Peterson will not plead guilty, but will plead no contest. He will not serve jail time and the charge will in fact not contain reference to a child or family (as indicated below):

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Peterson will plead no contest to one count of misdemeanor reckless assault.  The plea will not include reference to family violence or violence against a minor.

If the agreement is accepted by Judge Kelly Case, Peterson will pay a $2,000 fine, be placed on probation, and perform 80 hours of community service.  Technically, the adjudication of the case will be deferred for two years.

PFT thinks Peterson would be reinstated by the Bears game, but that the NFL could impose a punishment before then, and has a strong feeling that the NFL will act swiftly in order to avoid a PR mess. We’ll see what that means.


According to My Fox Twin Cities, Adrian Peterson will plead guilty to a Class A Misdemeanor in Montgomery County, as previously reported by Adam Schefter. The most important part of the report as it regards the Minnesota Vikings and his playing time:

A source told Fox 26 that Peterson and his legal team were informed the plea deal is acceptable to the NFL and opens the door for his return to Vikings this season.

In this case, the plea deal is expected to include probation. In Texas a Class A Misdemeanor carries maximum penalties that include any combination of a one-year sentence in jail, a $4000 fine and/or probation.

If the plea deal is “acceptable to the NFL” per the Fox report, then his suspension could be minimal or even nonexistent, which would counter reports that he would inevitably face suspension from the league.

As a reminder, the NFL does not even need a conviction to suspend a player, so long as the established facts of the case support a violation of the conduct policy—a category of offense that gives the commissioner full authority over punishment (and therefore would be subject to minimal pushback from the NFLPA or Peterson). Many of these plea deals reduce the charge to base assault, and would remove any mention of a child.

Whether or not the NFL would consider missed games as “time served”—a common term used when discussing Peterson’s NFL case—remains to be seen, but fining games he already missed could cause some issues with the way the CBA has been designed and with privileges Peterson may have already had access to.

More news as the story progresses.

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20 Comments

    1. When McKinnon was asked about it, he said the things you’d expect him to say. Which was disappointing. Wanted him to say “Dammit!”

      1. Jet is a 3rd down change of pace back. Darren Sproles to AD’s Lavanian Tomlinson

        1. He really isn’t. He’s an every down back, even if he was billed otherwise.

          1. As I recall, when Chester Taylor came into the league in San Fran he was an every-down RB, when he came to Minnesota he was an every-down RB. In APs second year he became ‘Chester Taylor, 3rd down RB’.

  1. Arif, what’s your best guess on what the Vikings will do? Put back on the field or trade him to Dallas?
    And what sort of time frame for either?

  2. The trade deadline has come and gone. The Vikings will likely be relying on the NFL to give them some direction here. The Vikes have three options, play him, cut him, or suspend him for the maximum 4 games for conduct detrimental to the team. The only X-factor would be if the league allowed them to leave him on the exempt list, but I have a feeling Peterson wouldn’t go for that.

    1. Yep, forgot the deadline has passed.
      If we get him back on the field this year and he can turn in some numbers, show that he’s still got it, I would love to see us trade him to Dallas for something like what they got for Hershel Walker back in the day. . .wouldn’t that be something?

  3. Why would Dallas trade for him? Murray is definitely an elite back. Also, He’s already served well over the maximum 4 games, he’s missed 8. I think they could still impose a fine as punishment and count games already missed. This team could be dangerous if he comes back. Really dangerous.

  4. I would just give him a 1 million dollar fine and reindtate him cause he already served 8 games for a misdemeanor

  5. It’s scary to think how much better the offense suddenly can be w/ AD pounding the ball to go w/ Jerick’s big play potential.
    Sounding like there may just be a fine, and no more suspension? Makes things very interesting w/ a bye week coming up, and then a schedule that gives them a chance to get back in it.

  6. I was actually getting enthused about the possibility of drafting Gurley, 20 pounds bigger and stronger, just as flat out fast as AP, probably not as shifty, but he likes to block and catch passes out of the backfield. Might improve our overall offensive game more than AP. Plus 9 years younger.

  7. Don’t get too excited. IF the NFL allows him to play, we still have to deal with Mark “Casper the ghost” Dayton and the court of public opinion. I personally want him to play and think he should be able to. If he receives a misdemeanor charge from the authorities, then that just shows this thing was overblown. There’s still the weed issue. I haven’t heard about that.. If in the end it ends up a misdemeanor, and his legal problems are over, why trade him? Keep him. Restructure.If he’s allowed back and then is shut down by Casper and the court of public opinion, I will throw up

  8. With the public scrutiny on child abuse, I will be shocked if the NFL does nothing beyond what the courts decide. It sounds like it will be a slap on the wrist and the controversy this would create would be a distraction to the team.

    1. yep, for getting money for jerseys signed.

      Now APs rant about modern day slavery, if applied to college players, would ring true.
      And of course Johnny Football got away with all that and more.
      Jaelen Strong I would also not be upset about getting.

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