Perhaps the biggest—or at least most drawn-out—story of the offseason is Adrian Peterson’s future in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings running back had refused to report to the team, creating a league-wide stir.
But according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, that will change on Tuesday.
Filed to ESPN: #Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has informed me that he's in Minnesota and that he's planning to attend OTAs starting today.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) June 2, 2015
Peterson’s appearance at organized team activities (OTAs) will mark his first official day around the team since being suspended in September 2014.
Anderson notes Peterson’s reason for joining the team:
“I’m returning because I want to. I’m a part of this football team and I owe it to the guys I play with and to our coaches,” Peterson wrote Tuesday morning in an email to ESPN. “I was planning on coming in this week, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the field. It’s what I love to do.”
Although Peterson said he was “planning on coming back this week,” recent comments from Vikings coach Mike Zimmer may have influenced this return.
Zimmer drew a proverbial line in the sand for Peterson, telling the media that Minnesota would not trade or release the disgruntled former MVP. From Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune:
Mike Zimmer on Peterson: "He's got two choices: He can play for us or not play."
— Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) May 27, 2015
According to Spotrac, Peterson is due $12.75 million this season. However, since he has no more guaranteed money in his contract, Peterson had previously expressed a desire to renegotiate his contract. Anderson notes Peterson’s hope for a new deal is still alive, but it will be handled by agent Ben Dogra.
“I’ll leave those discussions to my agent, but any player wants to guarantee his future as much as possible,” Peterson said. “I’m focused on what I need to do on the field, what I need to do to prepare for the season.”
Though Peterson’s future isn’t completely clear, Tuesday’s news shed some light on what to expect in 2015: Peterson will wear a Minnesota Vikings uniform.
Photo: USA Today Sports