Berginski: Playtime’s Over, A.P.
The Adrian Peterson affair has gone on long enough.
Peterson is in a situation where he has no real leverage and he’s putting off the one and only beneficial outcome: him suiting up for week one.
A.P. was out for most of the 2014 season due to being on Commissioner Goodell’s exempt list following an indictment on felony charges for disciplining his son with a switch. The league reinstated him over a month ago, so as far as any team’s concerned he’s good to go.
On Wednesday, Minnesota Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer held fast to their expectation that Peterson will return to play football this year, telling reporters, “Adrian really has two choices: He can either play for us or he cannot play.” This comes after Peterson’s agent argued like an emotional bull in a china shop at the NFL combine, suggesting he was looking at other teams or retiring.
The Vikings expect him to play, yet he hasn’t been present for organized team activity practices, risking a nice $250,000 workout bonus.
Let me break it down for you: there’s no way the Vikings are going to let A.P. go. He’s 30, an MVP (most valuable player)-award winner and he’s got three years and $46 million left on his contract – even though those last two aren’t guaranteed. And assuming the team would let him go, odds are he wouldn’t be traded for anything less than a first round draft pick, and other teams would have to cut players to free up salary cap space just to get him. The market just really isn’t there.
Him retiring? Oh please. No sane person, let alone a professional athlete, would walk away from millions of dollars, unless he or she had bigger fish to fry. Not to mention, the Vikings could easily keep the $12.75 million that is Peterson’s base salary and go on without him; considering quarter back Teddy Bridgewater is steadily improving and they still have Matt Asiata – 882 rushing and receiving yards and 10 touchdowns – in their stable of running backs.
Despite his impressive 2012 numbers, which any stats nerd will probably love to bring up if asked, Peterson is also chewing up what credits he may have left for a future Hall of Fame spot. Retiring would not only burn those credits, but spread the ashes out to sea.
If Peterson is mad about the Vikings’ handling of the 2014 charges and suspension, he needs to channel that anger into some yards and touchdowns because his team won’t have it any other way. By continuing this affair, he is only prolonging the inevitable.
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