It's about three weeks before training camp gets underway, and the media outlets out there appear to be in full-blown "let's just throw crap at the wall and see what sticks" mode. In this case, the distinction is a co-honor shared by Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk and Michael Lombardi of NFL.com. In his column the other day, Lombardi posted this little blurb:
The next player to complain about his contract will be Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who missed the mandatory minicamp due to a scheduling conflict.
And that's it. Nothing about what this is based on or anything like that, other than missing a mandatory mini-camp due to going to Adrian Peterson Day in Palestine, Texas a couple of months ago or so. PFT then decided it would speculate on the possibility of AP being a contract issue as well. Of course, they said that Sidney Rice's hip injury was the same thing. . .maybe all the Vikings will hold out until they get new contracts. Who knows, really?
(Maybe I can get the Vikings to re-do my deal, too. . .after all, 25 years of getting your heart ripped out on an annual basis has got to be worth something, right?)
Anyway, while it's good for Florio and Lombardi. . .both guys I generally enjoy reading, despite the issues I occasionally have with them. . .to speculate on things and wax philosophical about the Beloved Purple on such matters, in this case I think it's pretty obvious that there's no there there. I mean, why on earth would Sidney Rice complain about his deal? Yes, he had the standard "third-year wideout awakening" that receivers at the NFL level sometimes have, but he caught more passes last season than he had in his previous two years combined. He's really not in a position to make noise about his contract.
As far as Peterson is concerned, I really don't think he's going to be an issue at this point, either. Sure, he might see Chris Johnson and his one good season holding out for more money and say to himself, "Hey, I've been better than that guy." And he has been. But AP doesn't strike me as that sort of player. He has two years left on his rookie deal, and has been pretty decently compensated for a guy that's been one of the best running backs in the league since his first game in the NFL against the Atlanta Falcons in 2007.
Until either Peterson or Rice, or one of their agents, actually says something about dissatisfaction with their contracts, I really don't think there's anything to read into this sort of thing. There has been absolutely nothing to indicate that either player is unhappy.