Vikings: ‘No plans to trade Adrian Peterson’
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Vikings coach Mike Zimmer did his best Wednesday to quash rampant speculation that disgruntled running back Adrian Peterson could be traded.
PHOENIX, Ariz. - Vikings coach Mike Zimmer did his best Wednesday to quash rampant speculation that disgruntled running back Adrian Peterson could be traded.
“We have no plans to trade Adrian,” Zimmer told reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.
Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, said this week that his client wants to play elsewhere after having missed 15 games last season because of a child-abuse incident. However, Zimmer reiterated Peterson remains under contract.
“I’m not going to speculate on what he wants and doesn’t want, but Adrian’s under contract for three more years for us,” Zimmer said. “And that’s why you sign these contracts, why you get these big bonuses.”
Peterson has $43.75 million left on his deal, but none of it is guaranteed. He is displeased because he believes some in the Vikings organization didn’t do enough to get him back on the field in the wake of a felony child abuse indictment, which Peterson later pleaded down to reckless assault.
Zimmer said the Vikings are “planning on him being there” in 2015 and building the offense with that assumption. The only time the second-year coach has had Peterson for a game was in Minnesota’s 30-6 win at St. Louis in the 2014 regular-season opener.
Peterson is officially on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s exempt list after a federal judge vacated a six-game suspension that Goodell specified would end no sooner than April 15. With the suspension lifted, Peterson has been eligible for trades since the league’s business year started on March 10.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians was asked at the owners meetings about the possibility of acquiring Peterson.
“You’re trying to get me fined?” Arians joked with a reporter. “That’s tampering, dude. I ain’t gonna talk about another player.”
Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman met with Peterson at his home in the Houston area March 4, although Zimmer on Wednesday declined to give any details about the discussion.
“He looked great when I saw him,” Zimmer said. “He’s an unbelievable athlete. He’s not like they say. He’s a 30-year-old running back, but I think he’s way different than that type. I think he breaks all the standards.
“We’re going to continue to get better on the offensive line, we’re going to continue to get more speed on the field to open some things up for him, and our young (quarterback Teddy Bridgewater) is going to continue to improve, we think. I think all those things add to the value of the running back.”
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