Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson found himself in a bit of controversy on Thursday when Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN.com reported that the Oklahoma product reached out to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about playing for him.
Natta Jr. wrote:
Then a man taps Jones on the shoulder, says Adrian Peterson wants to say hello and hands over an iPhone. Jones says hi to the Minnesota Vikings’ star running back and listens, nodding but not smiling. “Well, I understand, Adrian,” he says into the phone.
Listening to half the conversation, it is obvious Peterson is telling Jones he wants to play for the Cowboys. Peterson, 29, is in the fourth year of a seven-year, $100 million contract that will pay him $11.75 million this autumn to play for the Vikings.
This was certainly a bad look for Peterson, especially considering he still has multiple years left on his contract with Minnesota, as Natta Jr. noted.
But Peterson, for his part, immediately denied that he told Jones he wanted to join him in Dallas in a statement.
The running back also made it clear that he doesn’t want to leave Minnesota anytime soon.
“I have always said I understand the NFL is a business but that I would love to retire as a Viking.”
There’s a very good chance that Natta Jr.’s reporting is correct and that Peterson is simply trying to cover for himself here. If that’s the case, who could blame Peterson?
Admitting that he wanted to join the Cowboys to the public would have been a disastrous move. Perhaps these statements will help diffuse the situation.