The Minnesota Vikings have not publicly expressed any intention to trade running back Adrian Peterson, but that hasn’t stopped a stream of rumors related to the embattled star. The Dallas Cowboys lead a pack of several teams with interest in Peterson, who was reinstated by NFL officials last week after his indefinite suspension last November in connection with a child abuse charge.
The Vikings have repeatedly declared their intention to keep Peterson, who remains under contract with the team through the 2017 NFL season. But Peterson and his agent, Ben Dogra, have had a chilly relationship with team management for months due to Peterson’s perception that Vikings officials did not sufficiently support him before and during his suspension.
The Cowboys and Peterson have expressed mutual interest in the past, and Dallas seems to be a logical destination should the Vikings decide to trade him, TheMMQB.com’s Peter King notes. Dallas’ recent contract renegotiation with quarterback Tony Romo freed up $12.8 million in salary cap space, just enough to accommodate the $12.75 million Peterson will earn in 2015. Moreover, the Cowboys have a void at running back after they allowed star running back DeMarco Murray to leave in free agency.
Dallas is one of six teams in contention to acquire Peterson’s services, along with the Arizona Cardinals, the San Diego Chargers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Atlanta Falcons, a source familiar with the situation told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. But the source added the Vikings were unlikely to trade Peterson unless they could do so before the 2015 NFL Draft on April 2 – a window during which Minnesota would most likely be able to acquire draft picks in exchange for him.
NFL tampering rules specifically prohibit other teams from discussing another team’s players in the media, but Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jone said it was unlikely the franchise would trade draft picks for a veteran player during an appearance this week on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Texas, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Peterson did not attend the first day of the Vikings’ offseason program this week, but he also did not attend the program in the past and team officials expected his absence this year, ESPN reported.