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Vikings have a way to prove they really want Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson


As the Adrian Peterson situation lingers, with the tea leaves suggesting Adrian wants to leave and the Vikings saying all the right things possibly to increase trade value, there’s one way the Vikings can put their money where their mouths are.

By, um, putting their money where their mouths are.

Last week, running back LeSean McCoy wasn’t happy with the trade that tentatively sent him from Philly to Buffalo, even though the Bills were more than willing (as supposed to simply “willing”) to pay him $10.25 million in 2015. So the Bills sweetened the pot, ripping up the three years left on McCoy’s deal and giving him $16 million in 2016.

End result? McCoy is now happy.

Before the Seahawks gave Marshawn Lynch $12 million and the Bills gave McCoy $16 million, it appeared that the Vikings would be the only team willing to give Peterson $12.75 million in 2015, making him more likely to choose to stay. Now that the market for big-name running backs (not named DeMarco Murray) has gone a bit haywire, with other teams able to justify giving Peterson a lot more than $12.75 million this year as part of a long-term deal, the Vikings’ best bet to change Peterson’s mind could be to tear up the current contract and replace it with something far more lucrative.

A check for $20 million, for example, as part of a new five-year deal with more than $30 million fully guaranteed over the next two years could be the kind of thing that gets Peterson’s attention -- and the kind of thing the Vikings can afford given the 16-percent increase in total cap space the league has enjoyed in recent years.

Peterson has a total of $45 million remaining on the final three years of the contract signed in 2011. None of it is guaranteed. If the Vikings are willing to guarantee a large chunk of it, and to pay out a lot more than $12.75 million in 2015, that would be the way to prove they want to keep him.

Even better, that would be the way to keep him. If they truly want to keep him.