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Vikings, Adrian Peterson Mutually Agree to Restructure Contract

As announced this morning on the team’s official website, the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson have mutually agreed to restructure the final three years of Peterson’s contract. Before today’s development, Peterson was set to earn $12.75 million in 2015, $14.75 million in 2016, and $16.75 million in 2017 with no guaranteed money.

During his absence from the team, Peterson took to Twitter to campaign for guaranteed contracts, and many speculated he wanted more guaranteed money from the Vikings in 2015 and beyond. With today’s news, Peterson’s wish was granted — his base salaries will likely decrease in 2015 and 2016 with more guaranteed money and a chance to earn more through incentives, per Mike Florio.

Although team policy prevents the Vikings from releasing contract details, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports disclosed some of the information:

Shortly after, Pro Football Talk released the full details on Peterson’s newly-guaranteed money, citing a “source with knowledge of the situation”. According to the report, “Peterson’s deal carries $20 million guaranteed at signing”, with part of that guaranteed for injury while the rest is fully guaranteed.

In his report, Florio suggests that the Vikings “fully guaranteed the $13 million Peterson was due to make in 2015” and made the remaining $7 million an injury-only guarantee to be paid at the commencement of the 2016 league year.

The guaranteed money, as Robinson reported on Twitter, is a commitment to Adrian Peterson and the development of Teddy Bridgewater, as they believe this is a playoff team. Robinson also reported that the restructure began when Peterson arrived for OTAs in May as a sign that the organization is “committed beyond 2015”.

In a statement released on the team’s website, Peterson expressed appreciation and excitement about the restructured contract, which he has been vying for since missing almost the entire 2014 season:

[quote_center]”I appreciate the Vikings for working together on this restructured contract, which provides additional security for me but also allows opportunities for me to further prove my value to the team and within the NFL. It was important for me to continue my career in Minnesota, and I cannot wait to get on the field in front of Vikings fans again.”[/quote_center]

The announcement also included a statement from general manager Rick Spielman, who has long campaigned for Peterson’s return and sees the 30-year-old running back as an integral piece of the Vikings’ playoff hopes:

[quote_center]”This agreement is a win for both Adrian and the Vikings and is a positive step toward Adrian finishing his career as a Minnesota Viking. As we have consistently said, Adrian is a valuable part of the Vikings organization and we look forward to his return to the field.”[/quote_center]

In the end, both sides are happy — Peterson has his guaranteed money, and the Vikings will start the season with one of the league’s best running backs. While we could have avoided the drama that ensued for months this offseason, it should make Vikings fans happy to know Rick Spielman and his front office are committed to their best players and the long-term success of the organization.

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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  1. Fantastic news regarding ALL DAY. He will retire a Viking, with the career rushing record, and a couple Lombardi Trophies in his house. SKOL

    1. I wish I could share your optimism regarding even one Lombardy Trophy let alone multiple. Not so sure he can eclipse the career rushing record either. But if one expects the best effort, then make sure they are happy. Every management/work study supports that. I truly believe the Vikes can be great for the next few years providing that Adrian will continue to run over defenders when not faking them out of their shorts, the o line plays to their potential, Teddy continues to prove his naysayers wrong, and that their defense returns to top ten form. i.e. Were Kalil’s last year’s woes truly due to injury, will Fusco and Loadholt continue to dominate against the run and be ok against the pass together, will Sully be top 5 again, will Rudy stay on the field, will Teddy continue to show poise and play like he did for the last six games of last year, will McKinnon continue to impress in spot duty, will they finally have receivers as dangerous as Moss, Carter, Reed (and I think they can, Wallace needs to show commitment to the game again, hopefully Patterson lives up to the hype of his off season work, out of the blue Johnson continues to prove Turner’s faith in him, then throw in Thielen and reports are very positive about Diggs!), their D line is very good and very deep, as much as I love Greenway and everything he stands for; Barr, Kendricks and Hodges are all very, very fast; it won’t be easy for teams to run outside on them; then throw in H. Smith and Rhodes, Blanton has improved big time… of all of the above I think all but two are extremely likely. Biggest question marks are o line, corners that are not named Rhodes.. I am more hopeful this year than I have been since the 90’s. Go Vikes! SKOL!!!!

      1. Yep, lots of questions mike. I agree that the biggest ones are O-line and corners. It’d be great if Adrian goes off for 1800…not likely, but maybe it’s better he get 1400 or so, and young Teddy get 3700 plus. More balanced, that’s what I’m thinking!
        I’m optimistic that this is the makings of a Super Bowl winning run. It’s time for that, we’re way overdue!

        1. Let us hope that Adrian can rumble off numerous 150+ games and can push the single season record again; so maybe 1800 yards is not so unlikely. Whenever I start to wonder about him, I remember the time he just flat out ran over a corner or safety against the Saints, can’t remember who it was though. He is once in a generation or so talent. I do like your observation of being more balanced, I agree. I don’t think that your prediction for Teddy is far fetched.

          1. wasn’t that the Bowns? Well it probably happened more than once to one team.

              1. Thanks for sharing the link chof. My recollection could be faulty… I will search to see if I can find the play I was thinking happened against the Saints. Either way, he is a beast.

              2. I watched the link, you were correct sir! the one against the Browns that Path P mentioned was pretty impressive also. Although the one against the Browns was more of him just discarding one guy that made the mistake of trying to tackle him above the waist, that was after burning a handful of other would be tacklers, and then he went for a TD.

              3. I found a vid on you tube titled “Adrian Peterson’s top ten trucks” or something to that effect. The one against Al Harris was pretty brutal too. So, Path P, you are also correct sir! He has done it many times. I found nothing against the Saints, I apologize for my mistake.

  2. “…it should make Vikings fans happy to know Rick Spielman and his front office are committed to their best players and the long-term success of the organization.”

    Austin, un-pucker those lips right now!

  3. Loved what Gregg Rosenthal had to say about the deal:

    “So Adrian Peterson got his new deal from the Vikings. Being great always the best leverage.”


    “People thought Peterson was crazy for wanting more guaranteed money from Vikings as @rapsheet reported in March. And he got it.”

  4. It doesn’t sound like this reduces his cap hit too much. They guaranteed his money this year, what do the vikings get next year in the way of reduced cap hit? I read somewhere over the life of the contract the cap hit is only reduced 750,000 in TOTAL. Is that correct t? If so how is this a win for the Vikings (other than to make Adrian happy )?

    1. From what I’ve read, the Vikings will save $2M in cap space next year. I think that’s pretty solid.

  5. There are de-escalators for 2016 based on performance this year that help the team. Peterson is getting $2 million dollars next week that he wouldn’t have had in his pocket for roughly two more months under his original deal and he basically got a $7 million career ending injury clause for next year. The Vikings will also need to cut him before free agency money dries up next year if they choose to go that route. The money that got guaranteed for this season is a technicality at this point, he was going to get $13 million anyway. It’s likely atleast one de-escalator kicks in and saves the team a million next year. It’s not huge savings, but it makes it easier to keep him moving into the new stadium next year. That’s also just what’s been reported, there could be other de-escalators they aren’t advertising. The biggest parts of this contract are that it would force the Vikings to release him early in the offseason next year and he got a free injury insurance policy of $7 million. The Vikes get a happy player and have likely dropped his cap number by one or two million next year if they choose to keep him.

  6. dogra just cut himself in on AD’s action for probably about $600K if the guarantees are $20M. don’t know how dogma’s commission effects the rest of the contract, if at all. gotta wonder if AD will ultimately lose money from changing his contract. dogmeat prolly sold it to AD as ‘one in the hand is worth two in the bush’