Adrian Peterson Says He Won’t Hold Out For New Contract
Moments before Leslie Frazier addressed reporters late Monday afternoon, he received an important piece of reassurance from one of his most important players:
Contract situation notwithstanding, Adrian Peterson plans to report to training camp on time with the rest of his Minnesota Vikings teammates.
“We had a good conversation, and that’s not an issue,” Frazier said. “He’s looking forward to camp like all of our guys are. There were other guys I talked to as well. Everybody is going to try to be there on time.”
If true, Peterson’s pledge would come as a somewhat surprising revelation, given that he’s entering the final year of his original rookie contract — a time many former first-round picks, much less All-Pro halfbacks, push for contract extensions.
Peterson wouldn’t be underpaid, with a base salary of $10.72 million. But his team-high $12.775 million cap number suggests he’d find mutual interest in an extension from the Vikings, who need to trim about $4.8 million from their cap before the 2011 league year begins on Aug. 4 in addition to dealing with 19 in-house free agents and a 10-man rookie class.
Hours after the NFL’s 4½-month-old lockout ended, Frazier said he’d also just spoken to veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield and “both of those guys (had) tremendous excitement in their voice. Both feel like they’re in the best shape of their lives. And there were others as well I talked to, but those two come to mind. Everyone is excited.”
An e-mail to Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, was not immediately returned.
I don’t think many fans anticipated A.P. becoming a distraction this offseason. Peterson has routinely been a stand up player and a role model to young fans. It just doesn’t seem like him to hold out. He knows that he’s a fan favorite and the biggest asset this team has. The Vikings have a lot to figure out and A.P.’s second contract will be high up in the priority list.