Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson had a positive reaction to his four-hour meeting Wednesday with team general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer at his Houston-area home. However, the 29-year-old running back did not provide specific details about the meeting, other than to say he and his family “still have” concerns about a possible return to the franchise in 2015.
“I appreciate Rick [Spielman] and Coach [Mike] Zimmer coming down to see me today. We had a great dialogue and they were able to understand where I was coming from and concerns my family and I still have. We respect each other and hopefully the situation can pan out so that everyone involved is content,” Peterson said in a statement to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Spielman and Zimmer flew to Texas Wednesday afternoon to meet with Peterson and his wife, Ashley, in an apparent bid to convince him to return to the Vikings. It was the first time Peterson met face-to-face with Vikings officials since September. Peterson missed all but one of Minnesota’s games last season after his arrest and subsequent no contest plea in November on a misdemeanor child injury charge. The NFL suspended Peterson indefinitely last December through April 15 for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
However, a federal judge ordered the NFL last week to vacate the suspension, a ruling which returned Peterson to the commissioner’s exempt list and allowed the Vikings to reopen dialogue with their embattled running back. The NFL has yet to fully reinstate Peterson and will appeal the judge’s decision.
Peterson is under contract with the Vikings through the 2017 season. Team officials, including Spielman, have repeatedly said they would welcome Peterson back to the active roster upon his reinstatement to the league. But Peterson said in February he is “still uneasy” about a return to Minnesota, given the level of support the team gave him during his suspension.
The Vikings can consider a variety of options related to Peterson’s status when the 2015 league year officially begins on Tuesday. The team can opt to trade Peterson, release him or restructure his contract. He is slated to earn $12.75 million next season.
Sources within Peterson’s camp told Yahoo Sports he has yet to rule out any option, including a potential trade. Moreover, the former NFL Most Valuable Player purportedly identified five teams -- the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers -- as potential trade destinations.
“All the options are open. There’s no doors closed on anything at this time,” Peterson’s father, Nelson, 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.