Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) acknowledges the fans during the closing ceremony following the game against the Detroit Lions at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Lions 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Rumors: Vikings looking for a way to get rid of Adrian Peterson


The Minnesota Vikings have changed coaches this year, hiring Mike Zimmer to replace Leslie Frazier, and are also ready to move on from 2011 draft pick Christian Ponder after selecting Teddy Bridgewater.

If Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman is correct, those might not be the only big changes taking place in Minnesota. According to Freeman, the Vikings are also seeking a way to move on from superstar running back Adrian Peterson.

The Vikings’ wish to get rid of Peterson has nothing to do with Peterson’s production, but is all about the money. Peterson is still a good player, but it’s hard to justify his huge contract numbers for the next four years when you consider the overall devaluation of the running back position, not to mention Peterson’s advancing age.

How big are those contract numbers? The Vikings owe Peterson base salaries over the next four years of $11.75 million, $12.75 million, $14.75 million and $15.75 million.

Even with the salary cap set to inflate each year, that’s a lot of money to be paying a running back who, at least according to all statistical models, is set to see a steep decline as he surpasses the age of 30.

It’s too much money to be playing any back, regardless of age and production, in this new era of the running back assembly line system.

So what can the Vikings do? Freeman doesn’t speculate, but only says the team is looking to move on from Peterson sooner rather than later. “My personal opinion,” one AFC GM told Freeman, “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.”

It seems unlikely that the Vikings would be able to trade Peterson, given the way running back value is trending, unless they were willing to accept much less draft pick compensation than he would otherwise be worth.

Cutting Peterson now or after the 2014 season doesn’t seem like a great option either given the salary cap hit the team would incur. The only realistic option for the Vikings might be to carry AD through the 2015 season, at which time all his prorated bonus money would be paid out, leaving them in a much better position to cut him.

Re-negotiating Peterson’s contract could also be an option, but Peterson would have to be amenable to such a move.

As painful as it would be for Viking fans to see Peterson go, it might be in the best long-term interests of the organization to get out of paying the full value AD’s contract.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings

  • oneninenine

    Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Getting rid of the reason you win every game. Restructure his contract if you must. Who cares if the position is devalued around the league? It clearly isn’t in Minnesota.

  • Wayne

    What an anti-man article, if that is true then why would anyone trade for him?

    • Wayne

      Seattle won the Superbowl with a back that runs with the same intensity.

  • Anthony Joseph Scali

    As long the Vikings aren’t paying a QB big money they’ll keep All Day.

  • jakelachelt

    another stupid nonsense article.

  • Bob E.

    I would like to see our team quit leaning on AP so much… We put up 59 points against Philly this year WITHOUT him, when they had to stop leaning on him, everyone else stepped up. that being said we need other teams to fear our ground game to flourish like our offense should. AP does that every single play.

  • Justin Weishaar

    Gm already said vikings are committed to ap through the next 3 years. Most of his contract. Until he declines these articles have no meaning and no place other than trying to create drama whwre n9ne exist. Ap is out back. Moving on

  • Ryan

    They’re not that stupid they know there would be no more Vikings fans and doing it 1 season before their new stadium opens would be even dumber because they wouldn’t be able to fill that stadium even if they gave the tickets away… A perfect example of what would happen look at San Diego after they traded Tomlinson EVERY home game was blacked out Because there wasn’t enough fans in the stadium up until the middle of last year.

  • Vince

    Absurd and irrational. Will not happen.

  • jamed

    These rumors get dumber every time I read them and the guy that keeps writing is making everyone dumber for writing them. Thanks for making us dumber you dummy.

  • Paul Engleson

    Who is this guy trying to fool? No one would be stupid enough to cut lose a GREAT Running Back like A.D. he is a Viking to the End. Getting rid of Adrian Peterson would be like having the Cowboys dumping Emmet Smith was in his Prime or the Bears cutting Sweetness.

  • Elliott C.

    If this happens there will be blood

  • MarkSP18

    While I do not know if this is true or not you should at least get your facts correct. The Vikings would only take a 4.8 mil cap hit if they somehow traded him this year. They would save 9.6 mil on the cap though. After the 2014 season they would only take a 2.4 mil cap hit but save 13 mil on the cap.

    They conceal this information from those that do not wish to just do a little research.

  • Richard Sikkink

    unless someone steps up super big it would be stupid on the teams part because they would be saving money but losing fan base! I know personally the last couple years Peterson has been the only bright spot and the reason for a fan like myself to keep watching the Vikings..

  • Derrick Amundsen

    It 100% wouldn’t surprise me if they let him go. AP is great, but in a pass happy league, the RB stock isn’t looking very good. I’d still be bummed of course, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Ilksee

    One thing to consider it is Norv Turner as the coordinator and he’s known to prefer stupid things personnel wise unless someone in the front office stops him. The San Diego GM, AJ Smith put together some of the best teams talentwise to never win a Super Bowl when Turner was coach there.

    As for Peterson’s new team, the Jaguars and Browns have the most cap room but thats before signing their rookies. And Gerhart, Peterson’s backup is in Jacksonville already.