Ideally the Vikings were looking to restructure Peterson's contract for 2015 since he was slated to make nearly $13 million. That's an awful lot of money for a 30-year old running back who isn't exactly a finesse player. But with Peterson seemingly not sold on coming back to Minnesota, the Vikings agreed to go ahead and guarantee his 2015 salary of $12.75 million.
Not good enough apparently.
"The reason I'm not attending OTAs has nothing to do with wanting to be traded,'' Peterson wrote in his statement. "It's about securing my future with the Vikings. It's business, not personal and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings."
Peterson's closing line of support comes after he apparently hasn't been quoted saying anything positive about the Vikings for several months. His statement follows his agent, Ben Dogra, telling USA Today four weeks ago that a better contract was being sought for Peterson.
Peterson has three years and $44.25 million left on his deal, including $12.75 million for 2015, but none of it is guaranteed. Sources said Peterson wants his deal reworked with some guaranteed money.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman did not return a message seeking comment.
Coach Mike Zimmer indicated that the Vikings offer of guaranteeing 2015's salary is about as good a deal as A.P. is going to get for now.
"Adrian, he's really got two choices,'' Zimmer said. "He can either play for us or he can not play. He's not going to play for anybody else. That's just the way it's going to be.''In my opinion, the Vikings have been more than fair with Peterson. After all, there's no way any other team will pay him close to what the Vikings will dole out this season. And if he wants to threaten to retire if he doesn't get his way, go for it. He wouldn't be able to un-retire, say, mere months later and sign as a free agent since the Vikings will have him on the "reserved/retired list." That means they'll control his rights as long as they so desire.
While Peterson doesn't exactly come off as an Einstein, he knows full well he can't sit out two consecutive seasons and expect to catch on elsewhere in 2016 as a 31-year old rusty RB. Ah, but the Vikings hold his rights for that season, too, so that's pretty well moot.
Expect to see Peterson arrive in Minnesota about 2-3 weeks prior to the regular season. However, I wouldn't anticipate anyone will be picking him up from the airport.