Adrian Peterson is a living legend, one of the best running backs the NFL has ever seen. He's also two months away from turning 32, coming off a knee injury, and carrying a non-guaranteed salary of $18 million for the 2017 season, and so the expectation has been that Peterson is not long for Minnesota.
Maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves, though. Viking GM Rick Spielman went on Siriux XM NFL Radio on Tuesday evening and said that he still wants Peterson to retire as a Viking.
Does Rick Spielman still want Adrian Peterson to retire a Viking? "Yes." Must go thru process, evaluate everything. @SiriusXMNFL— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 25, 2017
Now, the Vikings are obviously not going to pay Peterson $18 million next year. That would be an untenable number even if he were still at the top of his game and healthy -- which he is not. So what happens from here?
The Vikings could ask Peterson to take a pay cut if he wants to stick around, which would allow him to retire as a Viking when he decides he's done playing. If they can't come to an agreement, they could simply cut ties, and then Spielman could fulfill his vision of having AP retire with the team by signing to one of those weird, one-day contracts that guys that finish out their career with a random team sometimes sign so they can retire as a member of the [insert team here].
Which scenario is more likely? It still seems like the latter at this point, but you never know.