The New York Post has reported that while it is unlikely that the Minnesota Vikings cut Adrian Peterson due to his recent charges of felony child abuse, they may very well explore trying to trade the troubled star running back. On Monday, it has been reported that the Vikings will explore all possible options regarding Peterson, but we may not get a definitive answer until the NFL watches the legal system play out to see which course may be most appropriate.
Following the stunning and disturbing announcement that Peterson used a “switch” to “discipline” his 4-year-old son back in May, it appears certain that the Vikings will not go the route of the Baltimore Ravens, who finally terminated the contract of Ray Rice after graphic video was released of the former All-Pro knocking his now-wife unconscious in an elevator and standing over her while showing no remorse.
But while Minnesota says it will not cut Peterson, all other options remain on the table as the team brass looks to decide his future. Peterson was deactivated prior to Sunday’s embarrassing 30-7 home loss against the New England Patriots, yet that will not be a long-term option going forward.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement reached by the players and owners, a team cannot deactivate any player for a prolonged period of time, which appears to be no more than four games. At that point, the team would either need to reinstate him or release him. Of course, that does not mean that the Vikings will not opt to keep Peterson sidelined until they permanently decide what his future with the team may hold, but they may also simply keep him on the 53-man roster as is, allow him to show up at the team’s practice facility and attend meetings while continuing to bench him on game days, or attempt to suspend him without pay while allowing the legal process to run its course.
Beyond that, the Vikings could also explore the possibility of looking to trade Peterson, although it is unknown what they could seek in exchange, given his rather unusual and unknown predicament. We all know about the rumors from the past offseason that Peterson spoke to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about the possibility of playing in his home state at some point in his career. Still, Peterson is 30-years-old and awaiting criminal charges that could carry a 2-year jail sentence. While it is unlikely that he will wind up incarcerated, any NFL team would be foolish to give up much more than a conditional mid-round draft pick to acquire a running back facing serious legal charges.
With that being said, anything is possible. Still, while the Vikings appear reluctant to cut Peterson, and with a trade being unlikely, the most likely scenario will involve the Vikings waiting for things to play out off the field in order to help determine his future status for what occurs on the field in Minnesota in the future.