Top Minnesota Vikings officials will fly to Adrian Peterson’s Texas home Wednesday in a bid to convince the star running back to play for the team in 2015, according to a report. News of the planned trip came shortly after sources close to Peterson said the NFL veteran will consider all options in plotting his next career move, including a potential trade to one of five preferred destinations.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer will lead the meeting, which will mark the first time Peterson has met in person with team officials since September, according to ESPN. Peterson had expressed concern with the level of support he received from the Vikings after his no-contest plea on child injury charges and subsequent indefinite suspension.
A federal judge ordered the NFL to vacate Peterson’s suspension in February, which returned the veteran running back to the commissioner’s exempt list and freed the Vikings to pursue a release, trade, contract restructure or any other transaction involving their star player. The NFL plans to appeal that decision and has yet to formally reinstate Peterson, but the ruling allowed the Vikings to reopen communication with him.
Peterson’s father, Nelson Peterson, said his son hasn’t ruled out a return to Minnesota -- or a departure. “All the options are open. There’s no doors closed on anything at this time,” Nelson Peterson told Yahoo Sports. “Adrian will come back from this with a vengeance. He plays hard anyway, but he’s got an extra chip on his shoulder,” he said.
Peterson has reportedly identified the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as his five preferred destinations, though his father stressed that he has not yet requested a trade. He is under contract with Minnesota through the 2017 season, so any relocation would come as a result of a release or a trade from the Vikings. NFL teams are free to begin to formally complete transactions on March 10, when the 2015 league window officially opens.
The Vikings have repeatedly stated they would welcome Peterson back to the team. Spielman addressed the team’s plan Monday in comments to ESPN. “We are able to have communication now with Adrian. We’ll keep all those communications internal. I think it’s been very clearly stated we want Adrian Peterson back. He’s a unique talent, and he’s under contract with us,” Spielman said.