Adrian Peterson needs a lesson in basic economics.
The Minnesota Vikings star running back is already scheduled to be the highest-paid running back in the NFL in 2015 ($44.25 million over three years), based on his current contract. Yet, based on his own statement on Wednesday, we now know his refusal to show up to team OTAs has everything to do with money.
“The reason I’m not attending OTAs has nothing to do with wanting to be traded,’’ Peterson wrote in his statement (via ESPN’s Josina Anderson). “It’s about securing my future with the Vikings. It’s business, not personal and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings.”
Peterson wrote the statement to respond to the many swirling rumors that stated he wanted to be traded or even that he might be considering retirement.
It seemed crazy that he’d be considering retirement, especially with all the money left on his deal.
But honestly, the confirmation that he actually wants more money is even crazier.
Nobody would argue against the notion that Peterson is the league’s premier running back. Even at the age of 30, and with more than 2,000 career carries, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he ended up playing at an All-Pro level for the next three years.
But Peterson’s current contract, even back when he signed it, was outrageous. Running backs, even the great ones, are becoming more and more expendable. Heck, the Vikings did pretty good last year without Peterson running the ball, finishing with the No. 14-ranked rushing attack (1,804 yards).
Furthermore, the NFL is a passing league—an undeniable fact.
The Vikings have a franchise passer in Teddy Bridgewater, who has the skills to develop into a legitimate top-five quarterback, given enough talent around him.
Hamstringing Minnesota’s salary cap with a gargantuan extension to make Peterson happy makes absolutely zero sense. The Vikings would have to be extremely short-sighted to make such a horrific mistake.
General manager Chris Spielman must realize this, and the team’s unwillingness to bend to any of Peterson’s bluster this offseason suggests he does.
The fact that Peterson and his agent Ben Dogra think any amount of posturing will change Minnesota’s strong position in this matter defies any modicum of logic.
His 2015 cap hit of $15.4 million is more than $6 million more than any other running back in the league, and it’s a nice comfy figure for a decent franchise passer. Given the contracts of the other top running backs are topping out at around $8-10 million per season, then any sane general manager would likely say $12 million per year should be the cap for the league’s best player at the position.
Peterson is already being vastly overpaid.
But he wants more?
As the wise old sages of the New York mafia crime families like to say, fuhgetaboutit.
Peterson has truly lost touch with reality if he thinks he deserves more money than what he is already owed, and he’s even more deluded if he thinks the Vikings are going to concede to his demands.
Photo: USA Today Sports