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What If Adrian Peterson Retires?

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One of our Twitter followers posted a question about the entire Adrian Peterson situation that I hadn't thought of yet, and after doing the research on it, I thought I'd put it out there.

So, if the Minnesota Vikings continue calling the bluff of Peterson and Ben Dogra during Dogra's extended hissy fit here, what happens if they call the Vikings' bluff. . .which wouldn't be a bluff at all, really. . .and say that Peterson is retiring from the National Football League?

Well, here's the relevant article, from Page 262 of the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, under their example of the typical player contract.

16. EXTENSION. Unless this contract specifically provides otherwise, if Player becomes a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or any other country, or retires from professional football as an active player, or otherwise fails or refuses to perform his services under this contract, then this contract will be tolled between the date of Player's induction into the Armed Forces, or his retirement, or his failure or refusal to perform, and the later date of his return to professional football. During the period this contract is tolled, Player will not be entitled to any compensation or benefits. On Player's return to professional football, the term of this contract will be extended for a period of time equal to the number of seasons (to the nearest multiple of one) remaining at the time the contract was tolled. The right of renewal, if any, contained in this contract will remain in effect until the end of any such extended term.

So, basically, if Peterson were to retire this off-season with three years left on his Minnesota Vikings' contract, if he should decide to make a comeback, he'll then have. . .three years left on his Minnesota Vikings' contract. At exactly the same salary figures.

Now, in an e-mail discussion about it, Jason Hirschhorn from over at Acme Packing Company pointed out that, under this scenario, Peterson might have a potential out. He could retire, wait for the Vikings to be in a salary position where they would be unable to pay his compensation, and force his release. Fortunately, thanks to the workings of cap guru Rob Brzezinski, the Vikings only have $110 committed to their 2016 salary cap and just $71 million committed to their 2017 salary cap. . .and that's with Peterson's cap hit of $15 million and $17 million, respectively, for each of those two seasons. So, I'm not sure if I would gamble on that sort of thing happening.

So, if things get to the point where Adrian Peterson and his agent feel that he should retire rather than sully himself by continuing to play for Minnesota, he should really go ahead and do so. The Vikings would get an extra roster spot and relief from having to pay his salary and his signing bonus, and if Peterson decided to come back, he and Dogra would still have to go to Rick Spielman and company and kiss the proverbial ring. Sounds to me like everybody that matters wins.