Adrian Peterson‘s situation with the Vikings is as complicated as an athlete-organization relationship can get. After Peterson’s appeal of Roger Goodell’s predictably arbitrary suspension was upheld, he once again was eligible to play for the Vikings, the only team he’s ever known. The Vikings want to build a public image on being tough on domestic violence (now that it’s in vogue to be), so they clearly want no part of Peterson now that he’s back — aside from the fact that he’s the greatest running back of his generation, one of the greatest ever, and one of the very best ever to wear a Vikings uniform.
The Vikings haven’t released Peterson outright, probably because he’s so good that they feel as if they can get something for him in return via trade. However, the (extremely) public feud between Peterson and Vikings management has torpedoed their leverage. Of course, that’s all speculation, because the Vikings’ public stance is that they want Peterson to stay and they won’t let him go for anything.
Peterson, for his part, doesn’t want to be a Viking anymore either, presumably because they tried their hardest to distance themselves from him when his domestic violence charges went public instead of standing by him (which, come on AP, you saw what happened after the Ray Rice debacle, didn’t you? No one was going to touch you after that). So, when the Vikings’ OTAs (they’re like the preseason’s preseason) started, Peterson didn’t show up. It would have been a shock if he had.
In the wake of Peterson’s no-show, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer decided to go into tough-guy mode when speaking to reporters about AP after the first day of OTAs:
“He’s really got two choices. He can either play for us, or he can not play. He’s not going to play for anybody else, and that’s just the way it’s going to be.”
When 99 percent of the public believes that there’s no way Peterson will play another game for the Vikings, and when plenty of Vikings fans don’t want him back, the hard tack the team is taking doesn’t make sense. That (and the opinion of some that Peterson should shut up and play) also angered Peterson so much that he took to Twitter to air his grievances (faster than he could edit them for grammar or spelling):