With the news that running back Adrian Peterson has lost his appeal with the National Football League and will, likely, remain suspended for all of the 2014 NFL season, the focus now starts to shift on what the team might do with Peterson going forward.
According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, the team is pretty ticked off about the fact that Peterson will spend the rest of the season on ice. The Vikings did release a statement saying that they respect the league's decision. . .because, really, what good would it do them to say otherwise. . .but according to Hubbuch the Wilfs are pretty angry about the whole thing because they want Peterson back on the field.
The article goes on to say that the Vikings have no plans to trade or release Peterson. . .during his suspension. The earliest that said suspension can end, according to the National Football League, is 15 April 2015, a couple of weeks before the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago. And that could change as well, based on whether the league deems that Peterson has made significant "progress."
I'm guessing that "progress," in this case, is defined in much the same manner that everything else in this case has been defined. . .whatever the National Football League decides that it is at any particular time based upon how they feel that day.
Now, this isn't to say that the Vikings aren't going to trade or release Adrian Peterson at all, because it still wouldn't be surprising to see that happen. Peterson has a cap figure for 2015 of about $15.4 million, the highest in the league at the running back position (by more than $3 million). There's no way the Vikings are going to pay Peterson that much in 2015, and that likely would have been the case if none of this had happened. Peterson remaining with the Vikings would probably require a big-time renegotiation of his contract. Otherwise, trading or releasing Peterson would leave the Vikings on the hook for just $2.4 million of that $15.4 million figure.
But it appears that Adrian Peterson is going to be a member of the Minnesota Vikings. . .if we can call it that. . .until at least the middle of next April. What happens after that is anybody's guess.