Well, just when we thought that everything had finally settled down on the Adrian Peterson front, apparently he remembered that he had a Twitter account.
Let's check in, shall we?
I love people who think they know it all! Smh, Research how many NFL teams hasn't honored a player's contract & learn something.— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) May 28, 2015
Question for the people, is a contract two sided or one?— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) May 28, 2015
Ok great two sided! Well why when one party decides ... Mr. ? we wan't you to take a pay cut now or better yet flat out release you!— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) May 28, 2015
There's never no talk about honoring a contract!— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) May 28, 2015
I know hundreds of player's that wished their team would've HONORED the contract! But instead got threw to the side like like trash.— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) May 28, 2015
A lill crazy how one side has so much power that they can do as they please when it come to the contract! But when the other-side (player's)— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) May 28, 2015
Feels for whatever reason! Family, Change of scenery or simply - what they feels just might work best for them! Those same laws don't apply!— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) May 28, 2015
Remember when Adrian Peterson and Ben Dogra said that this wasn't about the money? Well, guess what? Whenever a player and/or their agent insist that it isn't about the money. . .
It's about the money. Every damn time.
Well, then, let's address this, shall we? (Disclaimer: Some of the more sycophantic among you might want to click away.)
Let's talk about contracts first and honoring things. Last season, Adrian Peterson carried the ball 21 times for 75 yards. For those numbers, by my calculations (which might be off), the Minnesota Vikings paid him approximately $7.6 million (his salary minus the six checks he ultimately wound up losing for his suspension). That means that, in 2014, Adrian Peterson made approximately $362,000 per carry.
Not per game, not per week. . .per carry.
And why did he only carry the ball 21 times in 2014? Well, it wasn't because of anything that Mike Zimmer did. It wasn't because of anything that Rick Spielman did. It wasn't because of anything that Kevin Warren did. It wasn't because of anything Zygi Wilf did. It wasn't because of anything Roger Goodell did. It was because of something that he did. Did the NFL completely botch the handling of his situation? Of course they did. . .we've said as much from the very beginning. Why was there a situation in the first place? Because of Adrian Peterson, that's why.
We want to talk about honoring contracts, the Minnesota Vikings laid seven and a half million dollars in Adrian Peterson's lap last year and got jack squat in return. I don't see Adrian Peterson volunteering to give any of that money back in the name of "honoring contracts" and so forth.
How much further are the Minnesota Vikings supposed to bend over backwards for Adrian Peterson to satisfy him? If he shows up and is on the Week 1 roster, his entire $12.75 million salary for this year is guaranteed. For crying out loud, Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer went to his house to discuss things with him earlier this offseason.
Let me repeat that.
Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer got on a freaking airplane and flew themselves down to Houston to have a talk with Adrian Peterson at his house about his situation going forward.
Hypothetical situation. . .substitute the name "Matt Asiata" into this situation for the name "Adrian Peterson." Do you think for one second that Spielman and Zimmer are hopping on a jet and going to Matt Asiata's house to have a tête-à-tête with him about his future over white wine and finger sandwiches?
No, no they are not.
(Apologies to Matt Asiata if he's reading this. . .by all accounts, Asiata is a stand-up guy. That was just a hypothetical.)
Seriously, this team doesn't need to extend any more olive branches to Adrian Peterson. Especially not after this little tirade.
While Peterson may have a point about player contracts and how they're handled by teams, there's a funny thing about that, too. And that funny thing is that the NFLPA, which Peterson is a part of, completely signed off on all of that when they signed the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. If Peterson has a problem with that, he should be griping to DeMaurice Smith and the rest of the NFLPA leadership.
Fun facts: The NFL players re-elected Smith as their representative. . .because, obviously, he's been doing a bang-up job to this point. And the current CBA runs through 2020. Think the owners are going to be giving up any power before then? Fat freaking chance.
Lastly, for all of Peterson's complaining about his contract, that contract has made him the highest earning running back in the history of the National Football League. The contract also hasn't changed since he and Ben Dogra signed off on it. . .hasn't been restructured or anything. . .so Peterson and Dogra knew when they signed the contract that there was no guaranteed money in the last three years of the deal, save for the pro-rated portion of the signing bonus.
Perhaps they should have addressed that issue then, rather than signing a long-term deal with the (apparent) assumption that it was simply going to get reworked halfway through. I'd remind everyone what happens when one assumes, but Peterson and Dogra have done a fine enough job of making asses of themselves for the past few months that we don't need the redundancy.
At this point. . .seriously, I don't even know. Just when you think that maybe Adrian Peterson gets it, this happens. He was probably already the least sympathetic potential holdout figure in the history of professional sports, and this likely isn't going to do anything to help. He was already getting lambasted in the court of public opinion, and he's just gone off the rails ranting about a contract that allowed him to pull in over seven and a half million dollars in 2014 to, essentially, do nothing, and will give him almost $13 million this season just for showing up. After everything that has happened over the past six or seven months, the Vikings are still, inexplicably, ready to pony up significantly more for Adrian Peterson than any other team is for any other running back in the league.
Look, if people want to defend the guy or whatever, that's their right and everything. I'm not sure how people would go about doing that after this, but this entire incident has really taught me that I shouldn't be surprised by a hell of a lot any more. For whatever reason, there still seems to be a smattering of people that feel the need to put the name on the back of the jersey ahead of the name on the front of it. If not doing so makes me a bad person. . .well, I'm willing to take that hit. In the end, he'll probably wind up being back in Minnesota. . .and, with any luck, it will be under the exact same contract that he and his agent had no trouble signing all those years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch Teddy Bridgewater highlights again for a while. It's nice to have a guy like that as the face of the Minnesota Vikings for the long term.