The Minnesota Vikings star running back was suspended first by the team and later by the NFL for the 2014 season.
Since being initially suspended by the Minnesota Vikings early into the 2014 season, Adrian Peterson’s future in Minnesota has been up in the air, and he has been connected with a handful of potential new destinations around the league.
However, a trade involving Peterson would likely have to wait until April 15 of this year. The NFL’s November suspension removed Peterson from football without pay until at least that date, at which point he will be considered for reinstatement. A team won’t be eager to acquire Peterson with his status in limbo.
That time has almost come, and those teams will possibly be able to get a crack at Peterson soon.
Peterson’s suspension stems from an incident when he abused his four-year old son by excessively disciplining him with a wooden switch.
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There is no guarantee that Adrian Peterson will actually be reinstated. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell included this in his letter to Peterson following his suspension by the NFL.
"“The timing of your potential reinstatement will be based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision. Under this two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions. We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement. You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.”"
Rather than work towards rehabilitation in the eyes of the NFL, Peterson has spent his energy appealing the suspension, which in fairness has been overturned by a U.S. District Court for the NFL “stepping outside of it’s power” to suspend the running back. Goodell and the NFL may take Peterson’s lack of cooperation with their program into consideration when they meet with Peterson this week.
On the other hand, the league may no longer want to be flooded by the story. A rejection of Peterson’s possible reinstatement would dredge up the story again less than a year after the NFL botched the Ray Rice suspension.
Either way, Peterson has been connected with a number of teams as a possible trade partner.
The Arizona Cardinals ranked 31st in rushing offense this past year, and would benefit from developing a consistent running game and play action passing game.
The Dallas Cowboys lost league leading rusher DeMarco Murray to their intra-divisional rival Philadelphia Eagles, and Peterson has been interested in becoming a Cowboy.
The San Francisco 49ers lost Frank Gore this offseason, and Peterson would fit into the team’s inside running offense, although the team may instead turn to second-year back Carlos Hyde.
Peterson’s steep price tag may keep him on the Vikings. The team will likely seek a first round draft pick in exchange, and his new team may be unwilling to pay him over $15 million per year until 2017.
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