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NFL: Peterson pay, trade are not being discussed, sources say

Sources close to Adrian Peterson said Sunday nobody on the Minnesota Vikings has approached the suspended running back or any of his representatives about possibly having to take a pay cut next season from the $12.75 million he is due.

Sources close to Adrian Peterson said Sunday nobody on the Minnesota Vikings has approached the suspended running back or any of his representatives about possibly having to take a pay cut next season from the $12.75 million he is due.
Sources also said Peterson hasn’t asked for a trade. One source said he remains willing to return to Minnesota even though he was disappointed with some reaction within the Vikings and in the community after he was indicted last September on a child-abuse charge. That source said a comment then by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton that Peterson is a “public embarrassment” really hurt the running back.
Sources said reports are inaccurate that the Texas native is seeking a trade to the Dallas Cowboys.
Peterson missed the final 15 games last season following his indictment, one while inactive, eight while on the commissioner’s exempt list and six due to suspension. He pleaded no contest last November to misdemeanor reckless assault and then was suspended by the NFL.
Peterson can apply for reinstatement April 15. The NFL Players Association has sued the league on Peterson’s behalf to have him reinstated earlier.
Peterson has admitted whipping his 4-year-old son last May in Texas but has said he didn’t mean him any harm.
Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf, chief operating officer Kevin Warren and general manager Rick Spielman all have said this month they would welcome back Peterson. Spielman said he expects Peterson to return next season.
However, neither Spielman nor anybody else in the organization has commented on whether they are willing to keep Peterson under his existing contract, which has three years and $44.25 million remaining but no guaranteed money left.
There has been plenty of speculation the Vikings might not want to pay Peterson next season what would be a $15.4 million cap hit, especially in an era when other top running backs aren’t making near that amount.
Spielman isn’t allowed to talk with Peterson while he is under suspension. Spielman said there are members of the Vikings organization who can but he wouldn’t name them. One source said Warren and director of player development Les Pico are permitted by the NFL to talk with Peterson.
One source wouldn’t speculate on whether Peterson would be willing to return to Minnesota on a renegotiated deal, saying there’s no point in addressing that since it hasn’t come up.
That source said the Vikings have paid huge money before on their backfield, including 2010, when quarterback Brett Favre ($16 million) and Peterson ($4 million) made $20 million between them. The source also mentioned the Vikings had a $17 million cap number in 2013 for defensive end Jared Allen.
Peterson said Feb. 6 that “of course” he wants to return to Minnesota. However, he backtracked some on that comment in an interview last week with ESPN.com, saying he is “still uneasy” about a return and remains disappointed that some in the Vikings organization did not offer what he believed was appropriate support last fall.
A source underscored that Peterson feels that way but emphasized he “loves the fans of Minnesota” and any uneasiness about wanting to return has nothing to do with them.
That source said it was a “witch hunt” by some in the Twin Cities following Peterson’s indictment and that a statement Gov. Dayton released really hurt Peterson because of all the community work he has done. The statement came after the Vikings on Sept. 15 had reinstated Peterson following being inactive for one game and two days before the team backtracked and put Peterson on the exempt list.
Peterson’s indictment came two weeks after ESPN.com reported Peterson had a phone call earlier in 2014 with Dallas owner Jerry Jones about how he one day wished to play for the Cowboys. That has led to speculation Peterson now wants to play for Dallas.
Peterson, however, remains under contract with the Vikings. If he is not reinstated until April 15, that would be more than a month after the new league year begins March 10 and teams can starting signing players and making trades.

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