Adrian Peterson had his appeal hearing in U.S. District Court on Friday, and it appears that he thought things went pretty well, saying that he got a fair trial "for once." When asked about whether or not he wanted to continue playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Peterson said "of course." Now, that could just be an off-hand remark so as not to create any more controversy given his current circumstances, but on the surface it bodes well for the Vikings on the field.
All of the outward consensus from Minnesota thus far seems to point towards Peterson coming back to the Vikings in 2015. Wide receiver Greg Jennings went so far as to say that the Vikings all want Peterson back in the fold next season. The only stumbling block might be the Wilf family, if they think they're going to take too large a hit from sponsors or in the PR arena, but you'd almost have to wonder if the hit from not bringing him back might be worse with fans of the team.
As far as whether or not Peterson has a chance of coming out on top in this appeal, A.J. Mansour of KFAN and Vikings Journal was in the courtroom on Friday, and pointed out one very important thing that the NFLPA included in their argument.
Maybe the kicker from the entire case came in the NFLPA's 10 minute rebuttal period when Mr. Kessler pulled out an invitation from the league for the NFLPA to join them on December 16th for a conversation to amend the current CBA with the new domestic abuse policy. What's peculiar about this, Peterson's "retroactive" punishment came down the pipe from the league on the evening of December 12th, 2014. That's four whole days after the league had already punished based on the pretense of the new policy. That's not even to mention that Goodell announced the new policy for the first time on August 28th, months after the awful situation between Peterson and his 4-year old son took place.
Obviously, we know that Roger Goodell and company have based every step they've taken on this completely out of their backsides, including having it revealed that they had league stooge Troy Vincent outright lie to Peterson about his timetable for reinstatement pending the conclusion of his court case in Texas.
Mansour comes to the conclusion that Peterson will have his arbitration judgement thrown out and be reinstated by the NFL sooner rather than later. I would like to think that would be the case, but as we've seen with everything relating to this case so far, we really don't have any idea what's going to happen.
With free agency set to start on 10 March (and the "legal tampering" period three days before that), it would obviously be in the best interests of both Peterson and the Vikings to have a ruling come down in their favor sooner rather than later. The NFLPA has said that, if this hearing does not come down in their favor, there would not be another appeal, which makes sense. . .they probably wouldn't even be able to get a court date with the Court of Appeals, never mind a hearing and a ruling, before the league's (incredibly arbitrary) date of 15 April for Peterson's potential reinstatement.
With the way things have gone thus far, I certainly hope that Adrian Peterson has been checking the proverbial boxes to meet the terms of the NFL's (incredibly arbitrary) terms for reinstatement in the event that his suspension is not overturned by Judge David Doty.