Vikings officially decline Adrian Peterson's 2017 option

The Minnesota Vikings have declined Adrian Peterson's 2017 contract option, according to a statement from the team.

Peterson, whose future has been the subject of endless speculation, will officially become a free agent on March 9th, the day the 2017 season officially begins.

While Peterson will be able to seek pastures anew in free agency, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman is leaving all doors open to a potential return -- given an agreement between the two parties can be reached.

“Adrian is an important part of the Minnesota Vikings organization,” Spielman said in the release. “We will continue to have conversations with his representatives and leave our future options open while determining what is best for both parties moving forward.”

Although the move itself comes as no surprise given Peterson's massive contract, it will still come as a shock to Vikings fans and the NFL, as the future Hall of Fame running back has spent his entire career in Minnesota since being drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. While Spielman has publicly stated that all doors remain open, it's likely spells the end of Peterson's tenure with the Vikings. 

Despite turning 32-years-old prior to the 2017 season and coming off another serious knee injury, there will likely be no shortage of suitors vying for his services, however Peterson himself will likely only sign for a team he views as a Super Bowl contender. 

Regardless, free agency just got a lot more interesting. 

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