The Minnesota Vikings have used the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List on running back Adrian Peterson, which requires him to stay away from team activities and the facility until his current bout with the law is completed.
Here is the statement from the team (via Vikings.com).
This has been an ongoing and deliberate process since last Friday’s news. In conversations with the NFL over the last two days, the Vikings advised the League of the team’s decision to revisit the situation regarding Adrian Peterson. In response, the League informed the team of the option to place Adrian on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which will require that Adrian remain away from all team activities while allowing him to take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved. After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian.
We are always focused on trying to make the right decision as an organization. We embrace our role – and the responsibilities that go with it – as a leader in the community, as a business partner and as an organization that can build bridges with our fans and positively impact this great region. We appreciate and value the input we have received from our fans, our partners and the community.
While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian. We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right.
At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community. Adrian emphasized his desire to avoid further distraction to his teammates and coaches while focusing on his current situation; this resolution accomplishes these objectives as well.
If you’re not 100 percent sure what this designation is, you are not alone. It has previously been used on the likes of Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress and Adam Jones when they were suspended for long periods of times.
It’s more of a procedural move on the Vikings part, which enables them to keep Peterson away from the team without actually suspending him.
The interesting part of Minnesota’s statement (besides the fact that it was released at about 2 AM ET) is that they’re indicating Peterson will remain on the list until the legal proceedings are completed. This could very well mean that Peterson, who was just indicted on child abuse charges, could be away from the team for an extended period of time.
This comes on the heels of widespread criticism directed at the organization. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton called on Peterson to be suspended, while the hotel chain Radisson dropped its relationship with the franchise pending an investigation. In addition to this, Nike pulled Peterson products from the shelves of local retail outlets on Tuesday.
Long story short. The Vikings didn’t want it to seem like they were giving into the pressure, especially after showing support for Peterson and activating him earlier in the week.
By virtue of this designation, it’s rather clear that Peterson will not be playing Sunday against the New Orleans Saints or at any time in the near future. We can also read between the lines here by understanding full well that the Vikings and the NFL were working into the late hours of the night to come to some sort of an agreement on Peterson’s short-term future with the team.
Here is a separate statement from Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf on the rare decision.
We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process, but we firmly believe and realize this is the right decision. We hope that all of our fans can respect the process that we have gone through to reach this final decision.