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2015 Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Willing to Restructure Contract for Five Teams in Potential Trades

According to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, Adrian Peterson has indicated to the Minnesota Vikings that he’d be willing to restructure his contract for five potential trade destinations: the Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers.

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While Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson continues to have an open dialogue with the franchise about his future, he has pondered potential trade destinations and would consider a contract restructure if a deal becomes necessary, sources have told Yahoo Sports.

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Another source inside Peterson’s circle told Yahoo Sports the running back has entertained returning to the Vikings, but has also considered potential trade destinations. Under the latter scenario, Peterson would also consider restructuring his contract to make a trade work.

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While the Dallas Cowboys have been reported to be a Peterson favorite destination, the running back prefers five teams: the Arizona Cardinals, the Indianapolis Colts, the Cowboys, the San Diego Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That said, even if Peterson requested a trade, the Vikings could refuse and simply pay him the $12.75 million in base salary he’s due in the 2015 season.

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The story reiterated that Adrian Peterson never requested a trade, clearing up confusion from a misreported Jason Cole piece on where Adrian Peterson would like to play.

Peterson’s willingness to restructure is big news, because it would make moving the running back easier, especially to what have often been identified as the three most likely destinations: Indianapolis, Arizona and Dallas. Both Indianapolis and Arizona have a strong foundational belief in the need for a premier running back (as opposed to a committee), and have offensive coordinators or head coaches that  would like to commit strongly to the run game.

The Dallas Cowboys have just come off their most successful season in the Tony Romo era, in part because of the running success of Demarco Murray, who is a free agent. The Cowboys have long been rumored to be infatuated with Peterson and Peterson told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he would love to finish his career there. On other occasions, Peterson has mentioned Texas before as a final destination.

Tampa Bay is home to Leslie Frazier, the former Minnesota Vikings head coach and current Buccaneers defensive coordinator—someone whom with Peterson has a strong personal relationship. Peterson spoke out against Leslie Frazier’s firing at the conclusion of the 2013 season. In defense of Frazier, Peterson said that he would love to finish his career with Frazier, though presumably as a head coach and not a defensive coordinator:

Vikings Territory stands by its report that the Minnesota Vikings are predetermined to have Adrian Peterson off the 2015 roster, and a trade is the most amenable solution for Rick Spielman and company.

Neither this report nor that one contain any information about whether or not the teams identified by Peterson’s camp are interested, though there is some level of presumption that Peterson and his agent, Ben Dogra, must have by naming those teams. Dallas is the only team known to be interested, and even that may be a vague infatuation more than a willingness to make the moves necessary to bring the former Oklahoma product in to Arlington.

The Dallas Cowboys have $6.6 million in cap space, the Arizona Cardinals have $13.5 million in cap space, the San Diego Chargers have $29.4 million in cap space, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have $33.4 million in cap space and the Indianapolis Colts have $41.3 million in cap space all per OverTheCap.com (the OTC number includes the Dez Bryant franchise tag, though he has not signed it yet).

Both the Cardinals and the Cowboys would have to do significant work to get under the cap enough to accommodate Peterson, even after a restructured deal and both have made a number of moves to that end—declining options, cutting players and alleviating cap space.

The saga continues.

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15 Comments

  1. Arif, what do you think would be fair value (in draft picks) in return for Peterson, considering the fact that legal decision on the NFL’s appeal is potentially a long way out, if Peterson’s contract was restructured to, oh let’s say 3 years $24 million with $9 million guaranteed with salaries of $7.5 million, $8 million and $8.5 million?

    Let’s just assume, since I do not know the ins and outs of the CBA well enough to determine the specifics, that cap=salary and there is no dead money in year 3 of the hypothetical contract.

    1. I initially graded a possible trade as going for a second-round pick and some additional compensation, like a fourth. Were Peterson willing to restructure that radically (and I suspect a restructure would actually keep the total money the same, but spread out over a long timeframe) and take a pay cut that big, could become a 2nd and a 3rd or two 2nds. An outside shot at a first.

      1. Maybe a 2nd and a conditional pick? I’d rather have a player myself. Less chance of a bust, imo.

      2. I’m in no position to disagree with you, Arif, but man, multiple high round picks just seems like way too much for Adrian at his age.

        Any hypothetical trade partner would be giving up future building blocks without having any idea first whether the 30-wall is going to smash into Adrian like it did to Tomlinson and others.

        Also, his seasonal injury report has been getting larger and larger as his career has progressed, with the last few ones being filled with all sorts of little nagging injuries and such. Needless to say, I’m worried that we’ve been witnessing sort of a “death by a thousand cuts” situation, because even though his 2013 season was statistically pretty much on par with his career averages, he physically looked his worst (arm tackles took him down easier than normal imo).

        1. true, but most of these hypothetical trade partners probably believe that peterson is the missing piece to a SB. That may just be enough to convince them to let go of those future assets…

  2. If AP is willing to redo his deal for another team but not the Vikings (this has not been confirmed but it seems like it is the case thus far) then they need to get what they can for him now.

    Waiting until after 2015 is only going to make his value worse really.

    I can only pray the idiots at Winter Park are not contemplating paying him his salaries beyond 2015. I hope they paid attention to what Philly did today.

  3. He is willing to restructure elsewhere, but not here? Hopefully Zim talks some sense into him. If RS got a first for Percy he should be able to get equivalent for AD. If he has to go send him to the AFC please. Two 2nds would be alright.

  4. Tampa’s inclusion is interesting to me based on what they could offer in compensation. Michael Johnson flopped pretty big for them last year and it doesn’t sound like they would be opposed to moving him. The Vikings would still see a slight increase in cap room swapping him and Peterson (plus they would likely cut Robison creating more space). If Tampa gave up the 34th overall pick, Johnson, and some other mid-to late round picks this season or next (I’ld love to see a future pick based on AD’s production this year included in whatever they do) that would be a pretty solid package. We know Johnson works in Zimmer’s scheme and he would instantly improve our run defense without sacrificing pass rushing. He would provide a physical presence that Robison can’t at that DE spot. An added benefit is that Tampa would take the cap hit on his contract so it would be easy for the Vikings to just release him down the road if he didn’t rebound after reuniting with Zimmer. The top few picks in the 2nd round are also hot trading spots so there is good potential to turn that one pick into multiples. They could do a lot worse if a trade is the ultimate direction this goes. I’ld rather see AD in the AFC, but realistically as long as they get him out of the NFCN we aren’t going to see him more than a couple times before he retires. I could see Tampa, with Lovie and Frasier, seeing a lot of value bringing him in to give Winston/Mariota a top notch running game. That’s a team we should be watching as this plays out.

    1. I also find Tampa an interesting suitor. If they were to give up Johnson,then perhaps a DE will be taken first & not a QB? Just a thought.

  5. Trade him – if he wants to go ! two 2nd would be nice … but lets try for 1st .. or trade AP with our 3rd rd to Jacksonville Jaguars for Jags 1st rd @ #3. It’s not to bad ! We would have #3 & #11 pik – cap space for FA.. Or try AP with our 4th rd first and see if Jags will bite…?

  6. Likely candidates on satisfactory to both parties
    #1 San Diego Chargers @17 with $29.4 million in cap space = Philip Rivers time is now or never to get to the SB. They need AP..They might give up 1st pik @ 17 and Vikings would love that – We get pik 3 & 17 hopefully that will work out like that..! AP is going to be 30 but we all and the NFL knows he will be just like he’s 26 in that body ! And only play 1 game last year, so he is fresh ! Depends on, how good a salesperson,
    Rick Spielman is…?
    #2 Indianapolis Colts with $41.3 million in cap space 1st pik @29 They are more Likely to give up 1st pik for AP. Look at theTrent Richardson trade… AP is by far and way better than Richardson..! Thay might try and try again!
    #3 Arizona Cardinals – I’m going Cardinals, due to their pik @ 24 and they have Pieces In Place…They just need to add AP..! Vikings will get pik 3 and 24. Just cap space, little concerning…. I’m sure Cardinals can find a way if they want to..
    #4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers with $33.4 million . And the Reunion of AP and coach Frazier. Coach Frazier has to be a good salesman to the Bucs GM. Maybe get round 2 & 3 or 2&4 wish was 1 right !
    #5 Dallas Cowboys with $6.6 million in cap space. Don’t know how Jerry Jones going to do this, but if he can and we get Cowboys 1 st pik @ 27 that would be cool …! Maybe AP Willing to Restructure to just 6 million with Jerry Jones… That will be a happy wedding day for Jerry Jones! Happy , happy marriage between the two..That would be AP ‘s wedding gift for Jerry Jones……….WOW !!!! Sorry AP is just all fun here! If you are going to leave us – GOOD LUK TO YOU ! BUT WE WON’T CRY… IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD !! Peace …!!! IT’S TEDDY TIME..!!!!!!

  7. Don’t forget the Raiders.. The Raiders are second in the NFL with just over $56 million in cap room with more space to come when they make official the releases of LaMarr Woodley and Tyvon Branch.
    AP for Raiders 1st pik @4 would be sweet ! Remember , Raiders has a history of trading 1st pik away… it just might repeat itself ! It’s a pattern…Or AP for 2nd round @35 & 4th round @99

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