PETERSON SITUATION: Nothing About The Last Week Should Surprise You

Maybe I’m getting desensitized to the idea of drama surrounding the Minnesota Vikings.

You know, like how your favorite television series can begin to feel quite stale and repetitive after six or seven seasons? I’m not claiming to have all the answers, and I’m not saying I can’t get swept up in it, but after six years of writing about the Vikings I’m finding myself far less susceptible to being surprised than I once was.

I’ve fielded a lot of questions over the last couple of days regarding the Adrian Peterson situation. Each conversation ends with me being asked where I think he will end up, and it is obviously not one I can answer with a guarantee, but here are some of my thoughts on the “events” of this last week:


The least shocking news all week were the mini-waves of devotion various Vikings members were touting towards Peterson, which was highlighted by Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer. What else are they going to do?

Releasing Peterson was never a viable option, and talking him up potentially makes him a happier camper upon return or increases his trade market and value. They would be idiots if they came out and said anything else other than what they said this week. Therefore, the fact that they said what we knew they would say doesn’t actually mean much of anything, other than that we are getting farther along in this whole process.


First off, let me say that I don’t think this is Peterson “playing the victim card.” Peterson has never been one to pick the exact right words at the right time, and I think the context of his statements are always important, because he tends to ramble from one thought to the next in a manner that leaves plenty up to interpretation.

Peterson sounds like he is beat down a bit. He sounds like he is, possibly for the first time in his career, learning just how important the business side of the NFL life is. Just how necessary that evil really, truly is.

He sounds like a guy that is being pretty open about being “uneasy” about going back to work at a place that has been in turmoil because of him and because of how they handled his situation. I can honestly say I would be more than “uneasy” about returning to my place of work under similar circumstances, so I can hardly hold anything he said against him. I’m guessing that he was just trying to vent his feelings on that one and I fail to see where those feelings cross any sort of line.

More than anything, however, I see a guy that knows he isn’t going to be released. I see a guy that knows his next contract signed will not be as lucrative as his current one. I see a guy that is not necessarily trying to talk his way out of town, but instead is trying to make any approach from the Vikings (or another team) extremely awkward if they intend to ask him to shave his salary.

Peterson has millions of reasons to do everything within his power to remain employed under his current contract, and making the Vikings feel like they hurt his feelings might be a perfect way to avoid the negotiating room.


Some media outlets are running with a Jason Cole report onĀ Bleacher Report like Peterson and Rick Spielman sat down, scowled at each other silently, and then Peterson suddenly demanded a trade to Dallas before stomping out of the room.

Obviously, that’s not how it happened, mainly because it didn’t happen at all. Cole never explicitly said Peterson made a trade demand, no matter what other outlets would like you to believe, but instead noted that all parties “are aware” of what the other wants.

A meeting between Peterson and Spielman would seemingly be prohibited under his current suspension. Furthermore, the idea of Peterson wanting to play in Dallas is nothing new or even earth-shattering. He made similar comments before the 2014 regular season even started, and long before he might have felt let down by the organization’s response to his troubles.

This is all just the back-and-forth posturing that was every bit as predictable as it is inevitable given the seriousness and financial ramifications of the entire situation. Think of it as the final hand of a very high stakes poker game where everyone must dramatically reveal their hands in slow motion… you know the cards need to be played, we’re just waiting to find out who wins.

So, back to the question everyone keeps asking… “Where will Peterson end up?”

I’m not sure, but I gave an early and slight edge to the Vikings and none of the cards on the table are surprising enough to make me change that bet, yet.

The Vikings still need to get the best value they can out of Peterson, by getting him on the field or by trading him away, and Peterson will do his best to make sure he’s making as much money as possible as his twilight years are suddenly upon him.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. Agreed. The judge is basically just continuing the nfl punishment by random length of decision. He has a hung jury in his own head? I think the time passing does not bode well for the end decision

    1. Federal judges decide cases in their own time, and if Doty has other cases on his docket, it is unlikely that this one is even close to the top of the priority list.

      With that said, it is pretty unlikely that he will rule in favor of the NFLPA and Peterson. The CBA gives Goodell wide discretion in disciplining players, and the NFLPA failed to put together much of a case.

  2. Thanks for the excellent grounding article. Most level headed take on this entire situation. I know bidness is bidness, but I think both sides got into this game way too early. And, it could be detrimental to keeping him in Mn. They should’ve waited until he’s reinstated to get into this. Communicating solely through the media is never good for anyone.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, alaskasotan. I sure do miss AK, you taking good care of it for me with Fran the Man?

  3. I found this article to be the most embarrassing article I have ever read on Vikings Territory. It went out of its way to apologize for Peterson, right after he threw the Wilfs, Spielman and Zimmer under the bus.

    I’m not sure what more the Vikings could have been expected to do with a player who was indicted for felony child abuse, caused Raddison to walk away as a team sponsor, and caused several NFL sponsors to question their business relationship with the NFL. I won’t even talk about what Peterson did to the Vikings 2014 season.

    I get that this is a fan site, but I do expect some level of journalistic integrity. Reading articles like this make me embarrassed to be a Vikings fan.

    1. Mike, thanks for reading and thanks for the feedback, even if it wasn’t up to your standards. I’m sorry you were embarrassed, but most embarrassing? C’mon, I’ve done way worse than this! šŸ˜‰

      In all seriousness, I’m not trying to apologize for Peterson at all. I’m simply trying to call it as I see it and remember that all these “reports” have motivations behind them. The Vikings motivation is to get the most value out of Peterson as they can. Peterson’s motivation is to make the most money in the NFL as he can. The media’s motivation is to generate clicks and some of them have taken it so far as to create reports (sporting news, for example) that flat out lie.

      I’m sorry that my article didn’t beat up on Adrian for his transgressions in a sufficient manner, I feel like we’ve all already crossed that bridge a thousand times, but this post isn’t meant to judge him one way or the other. As far as journalistic integrity I don’t claim to have much but I’m not out there creating fictitious meetings between Spielman and Peterson and I’m also not calling something “Felony Child Abuse” when that was never the facts of the matter. I’ll leave those games for others and continue to try and sort through all the noise to see what’s coming up…

      After all, the stakes are super high and this is an enormously important decision looming in front of the Front Office… a decision that can shape our team in a big way for 2015 and beyond.

      Again, thanks for reading, hope you give us another shot and don’t let my embarrassing dribble reflect poorly on our other fine writers.

      1. You are at the very least persistent in your apologizing for Peterson.

        Yes, it was felony child abuse. That was the original charge, and the evidence is overwhelming and unrefuted. If Peterson had a viable defense for his conduct, why haven’t we heard it yet? What was he going to do, plead self defense?

        The fact that he acquired a high priced attorney and received a plea bargain as a first time offender in no way altered the circumstances of the case. I do see endless Vikings “fans” trying to point to his eventual misdemeanor plea of No Contest as somehow being a vindication of his conduct. Face it, he didn’t even have the integrity to acknowledge his guilt in a court of law.

        In his latest ESPN interview, he once again failed to take responsibility for his actions by trying to offset blame onto the Vikings and the Minnesota sports media. The pattern of conduct there is fairly obvious.

        The best defense that could be offered up for Peterson is that he behaves the way that he does because people throughout his career has glossed over every one of his misdeeds, simply because he is a sports star. Those people are simply enablers, and you have joined the chorus.

        The fact that you rightly call out the Sporting News for their sloppy reporting, while being blind to what you are doing here, is simply ironic. At least the Sporting News made some acknowledgement of their errors.

        1. Peterson was indicted on September 11, 2014, by a Montgomery County, Texas, grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child that occurred on May 18, 2014.[11][12]
          BARBARA GLADDEN ADAMICK, DISTRICT CLERK (September 12, 2014). “Criminal Inquiry Screen – CAUSE: 14-09-10024-CR”. MONTGOMERY COUNTY – DISTRICT CLERKS OFFICE. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
          ^ Jump up to: a b c Wilson, Ryan (September 12, 2014). “Report: Adrian Peterson indicted in child injury case in Texas”. CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 12, 2014.

          Felony Child Abuse is a different charge.

        2. Hi Mike, the post is clearly marked as “speculation” at the top. It is a post not about Peterson’s moral standing, but rather an attempt to read the tea leaves and speculate on the future from a business/football standpoint and the posturing that is currently taking place. That’s about all I’ve got left to say.

  4. This article in zero ways apologizes for AD. Instead, it interprets what he may or may not have said. It analyzes the word ‘uneasy’ differently then the sensationalized articles from other outlets.