We're a little late in getting to this. . ."story," if you want to call it that. Why? Because it's about the Adrian Peterson story and, well, I'm absolutely sick to death at this point of this entire thing.
But, you know, nothing else is currently going on with this team, so what the heck.
The NFL Owners Meetings will be taking place in Phoenix, Arizona starting on Sunday, and apparently Minnesota Vikings' GM Rick Spielman requested to have a sit down at dinner with Ben Dogra, who is Adrian Peterson's agent. If you read the title to this article, you can probably already guess how that went.
Yeah. . .went over like the proverbial fart in church, apparently.
And, in my best Ron Popeil voice. . .but that's not all!
Thought continued meetings between AP, Vikings were a good sign. But those have stopped. Was told today Peterson wants to play elsewhere.— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) March 21, 2015
So, Peterson apparently has a wish to play in another city. If I recall correctly, there's an old saying about wishing in one hand and defecating in the other and seeing which one fills up first. Maybe Peterson and Dogra should try that at this point.
The funny thing about this is that I've actually heard people try to say that Dogra isn't acting in Peterson's best interests or, even crazier, that he's not doing what Peterson wants him to do and that Peterson really, really, honest-and-for-true wants to stay in Minnesota. As Arif so astutely pointed out on Twitter earlier on, if Ben Dogra wasn't doing what Adrian Peterson wanted him to do, Adrian Peterson would fire Ben Dogra and hire another agent. Athletes fire their agents all the time when they feel that they aren't working in their best interests.
Much like Vikings' COO Kevin Warren wasn't going to "go rogue" and work to keep Peterson off the field without at least a wink and a nod from Zygi and Mark Wilf, Dogra isn't going to go out of his way to do anything that Peterson doesn't want him to do. Peterson, apparently, wants to get paid. Dogra, as his agent, also wants Peterson to get paid (since that's how agents. . .you know. . .make a living). They apparently think that this is the best way to go about doing that. Dogra isn't doing this without Peterson's knowledge, and any suggestion that he is borders on ignorant.
Here's the thing, though. If this is about money. . .and, as we've discussed, it's always about money. . .the Minnesota Vikings are really the only answer for Dogra and Peterson. As we know, Peterson is under contract. . .a contract that hasn't changed since it was signed in 2011, when Peterson and Dogra had no problem putting pen to paper. But, if Peterson thinks he feels "uncomfortable" now, just wait and see what happens if he and his agent wish to continue this charade.
See, the Vikings open Training Camp early this year, thanks to their being a part of the Hall of Fame Game. Let's say that Peterson, after not being traded in the off-season, is advised by super agent Ben Dogra not to report to camp. The Vikings would then, presumably, put him on the "Reserve/Did Not Report" list. Not only does that open up a roster spot for the team but, per Article 42 of the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, at that point the team can start fining Peterson $30,000 a day.
Not a $30,000 total fine. . .$30,000 every single day that Peterson doesn't show up to Training Camp.
If money is really that important, losing $210,000 a week is going to put a dent in your checking account pretty quickly, to say nothing of the money the team would have fined him previously for, presumably, missing mandatory mini-camps and things of that nature. I mean, I guess you could just see it as recouping the money that Peterson got in 2014 to, mostly, not play football, but still. . .taking that kind of financial hit wouldn't be pleasant. And I haven't mentioned the fines for every pre-season game he'd miss, but I'm sure those would also be significant.
And if Dogra and Peterson wanted to continue this farce into the regular season? Well, then the Vikings get to start withholding game checks, with each one they save going back towards the team's salary cap. Peterson has a base salary of $12,750,000 for 2015. That means that, for each game he were to sit out, the Minnesota Vikings would get $796,875 back. And they can also attempt to recover part of Peterson's signing bonus, which is currently the only guaranteed money he has coming, if they wish. (Thanks to our friends from Niners Nation for this info.)
A team can also recover a portion of a player's signing bonus. Fifteen percent of the prorated amount of signing bonus can be recouped on the sixth day of a training camp holdout. It's one percent for each additional missed day with a maximum of 25 percent of the prorated amount during training camp. An additional 25 percent can be recovered with the first missed regular season game. After four missed weeks, a team can recover 1/17 of the prorated amount for each additional week of the player's absence. The maximum a team can recover in a season is the entire prorated amount of the player's signing bonus in that contract year.
So, if this continues long enough, not only can the Minnesota Vikings ensure that Adrian Peterson doesn't get paid, they can actually take money from him. Contracts in the NFL are funny like that.
I really, truly hope that Rick Spielman and the Vikings continue to play hardball in this situation. The Minnesota Vikings have to make exactly zero accommodations for Adrian Peterson going forward, and they shouldn't make any. Adrian Peterson is no longer the most important player on the Minnesota Vikings' roster, and he won't have that status ever again. If he wants to get paid, he and his lawyer need a significantly better strategy.
They could probably start by calling Rick Spielman and asking him where he wants to eat dinner on Monday.