Could Vikings be looking for an out with Adrian Peterson?

by Erik Horne Published: May 12, 2014
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photo - Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, left, tries to break a tackle from Chicago Bears free safety Chris Conte during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 23-20 in overtime. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, left, tries to break a tackle from Chicago Bears free safety Chris Conte during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 23-20 in overtime. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Could Adrian Peterson be on the outs with the Minnesota Vikings?

Peterson, 29, is just a few seasons removed from a 2,000-yard campaign, but according to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, he heard plenty of rumblings at the NFL Draft about Minnesota thinking about dropping AD.

“The Vikings are looking for ways to part with superstar runner Adrian Peterson sooner rather than later," Freeman said. "Peterson is 29 and when backs hit 30, their production usually drops off precipitously.”

Freeman also cites an unnamed AFC general manager who believes this will be Peterson’s final season with the Vikings.

“My personal opinion,” said one AFC general manager, “is this [coming] season will be Peterson’s last with the Vikings. Despite the cap hit, they’ll make some sort of move to get him off the roster.”

We all know that Peterson is no ordinary running back, but it doesn't help that Peterson is approaching an age (30) that running backs typically decline.

It also doesn't help that Peterson is due a boatload of cash in the next four seasons. He's due $11.75 million in 2014, $12.75 in 2015 and $15.75 in 2017. Vikings reporter Ben Goessling of ESPN says that Minnesota structured Peterson's $100 million contract in 2011 precisely for this scenario.

From Goessling: He's due to be paid $44 million in the last three years of his deal -- though the Vikings would face just a $2.4 million cap hit if they cut him after this season and no penalty if they released him after 2015.

Will Peterson make it all the way to 2017 with the Vikings? Probably not. But according to what Freeman is hearing, 2015 might not be too certain, either.

by Erik Horne
Online Sports Editor
Erik Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013, following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The Ardmoreite, Horne reported on everything from prep...
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