The Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson could be headed for a split after recent reports about his representative fighting with team executives at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, as Jason La Canfora writes that agent Ben Dogra and a member of the front office had to be separated and he also adds that the Washington Redskins could be a "dark horse" option if he is released.
Peterson and his future has been up in the air since he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL and now a new report has his agent fighting, literally, with the Vikings organization. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Peterson's agent had to be physically separated from "a member of Minnesota's front office" during what was described as "a heated verbal altercation" between the two. While this one act doesn't mean Peterson won't return to the Vikings, it adds another wrinkle to the situation.
Peterson has expressed concern with going back to the Vikings and he has spoken multiple times about getting a "fresh start" in interviews. Peterson can officially come back in April at the earliest and that is still quite a while away. Teams will sign free agent by that point and the situations where Peterson fits may dwindle by then. La Canfora writes that the Dallas Cowboys are a main target, while the Redskins could be a "dark horse" option for Peterson as well.
La Canfora wrote that sources said that Dogra was talking to Vikings vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski and that other people saw what happened. The article goes on to say that sources told La Canfora that Peterson "has no intention of playing again for the Vikings." Peterson has a large contract that keeps him with the team for two more seasons and he currently has the highest cap hit of any running back in the league.
The Vikings may ask him to take a pay cut, while some teams around the league could look at a trade. The Raiders and Browns can afford that money, while Dan Snyder and the Redskins likely would also be in the mix if he was made available.
The Vikings have been very open about Peterson coming back in 2015, but some have been skeptical of what the endgame for the team is. According to Andrew Brandt at the MMQB, the Vikings likely will ask Peterson to take a pay cut and the support they are showing him now could be a front to ensure that fans don't blame the team for his release if Peterson doesn't agree to a lower salary. While the Vikings still mat want Peterson to return despite this, it's hard not to come to that conclusion with the way things have gone since Peterson was placed on the exempt list.
Peterson has been mostly quiet this offseason, but he spoke about that move from earlier in the season and that is one reason why some have cautioned that his return is not set in stone. ESPN.com reports that Peterson is "reluctant" to come back to the Vikings after the organization worked to have him put on the exempt list and that could help contribute to his departure.