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Rick Spielman: Adrian Peterson ‘will always be a Minnesota Viking’

Brace Hemmelgarn, USA Today Sports

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman made an interesting comment about Adrian Peterson’s future that could indicate the running back isn’t going anywhere this offseason.

Now, there are a couple of ways you could take this tricky statement.

Spielman could be saying that, even if Peterson is released this spring, he’ll always be treasured by the Vikings for his tremendous contributions over the years.

Or, Spielman could be saying that, despite Peterson’s absurd $18 million cap hit this upcoming season, he’s going to remain on the roster.

The fact that Spielman hasn’t talked to Peterson or his agents means that the latter could legitimately be in play. Even with Peterson on the roster for that monstrous cap hit, Minnesota is not in bad shape cap-wise heading into the new season, so Spielman might still value Peterson as a player who can make a meaningful contribution.

When healthy, Peterson is one of the premier running backs in the NFL. Just two seasons ago he led the league in rushing (1,485 yards) and rushing touchdowns (11). Of course, last year was almost a complete waste, as a knee injury kept him out of all but three games.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next. Peterson has already been looking at the possibility he won’t return to Minnesota and has some teams in mind if that’s the case.