There is one thing for certain. No NFL player will ever voluntarily submit to the NFL's commissioners Exempt List after what has happened to Adrian Peterson ... and that now includes Dez Bryant who has recently fallen under the leagues microscope. It will be quite interesting to see how the Cowboys will effectively brush all his dirt under the carpet, as if his incident never happened, as old Dez's horrendous incident will quickly be absolved by the commissioner as the Cowboy's count whereas Adrian Peterson and the Vikings do not.
The Vikings fell into the commissioners trap by pushing AD's exempt status to save face in response to a mounting outrage of public opinion. There is allot of bad information in regard to this exemption which needs to be cleared up. Since Adrian Peterson was on the opening day 53 day roster his entire 2014 salary was guaranteed where only the commissioners fines could take away his money. So getting paid while sitting on his hind quarters wasn't an issue as his 2014 salary was already guaranteed. With hind sight, all the Vikings had to do is to tell Adrian Peterson to stay away from the facility and take a low profile until his legal issues were resolved. Instead AD's potential toxic environment was removed with one fell swoop of the commissioners exemption as AD was forced from all contact with the Vikings. In return, what the Vikings got for its deep was an roster spot for AD's exemption. What a mistake that became in time as direct communication with Adrian Peterson became of paramount importance and as it now appears ... the exempt status knows no bounds to time or anything other than the omnipotent god-like powers of this NFL commissioner..
Every associative member tied into this franchise was under the understanding that once Adrian Peterson's legal issues were resolved that he would be taken off the commissioners exempt list. In fact that did happen where he was promptly suspended by the league, which was expected, as everyone knew that AD's wallet was going to get hit especially hard. What no one is now talking about is that AD has once again been placed on the commissioners exempt list. What this means is that the exempt list has become a permanent state of limbo, where the NFL's players union should be screaming about this latest move ... as careful ... wait for it ... this exempt status can be placed on any player within the league. This is a very dangerous ordeal under the some franchises count scenario as any franchise can now be tampered with upon the whim of the commissioner.
Imagine Andrew Luck, or Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning, or Russell Wilson being advised that they were placed upon the commissioners exempt list. Sure, it's like reading everyone's e-mail ... it's not a problem because your innocent ... right??? Here's the thing. Just like in Washington D.C. the real NFL currency lies within the power of secrets, revenge and the vendettas ... all which go on behind the stage.
If the players union doesn't act on this broad and sweeping new power now under the commissioners exempt list, and attack it with ferocious abandon ... then this new found tyrant will be soon raise it's ugly head again ... and very soon indeed. Why? Well that is quite simple. This new unweilding power gives the commissioner the ability to now tamper with any franchise that he so deems that needs to be punished as the any top player can find himself apart of the commissioners exempt status. This statement should send a shock wave throughout the league of owners which should be quaking in the boots. Why? It's because we all clearly understand that some franchises count and others don't and no franchise wants to be on the opposite end of the commissioners double barreled shot gun. Not to worry though as the Vikings don't steal signals or use under-inflated balls. They just had the Williams Wall.
So let's discuss the up coming options regarding Adrian Peterson. Should the Viking's sweeten Adrian Peterson's deal? Of course not. As long as he's apart of the opening day roster, his 15 million is bonus and salary will be guaranteed which should be a cake walk for him. Let us not forget that Adrian Peterson does not play pre-season football, so if he's apart of this roster on opening day, he gets to take his 15+ mil to the bank. If Adrian Peterson becomes toxic, just like with Hershel Walker, his hind quarters will quickly find the bench, keeping him fresh and ready for export prior to the trade deadline for that special team of destiny. You know ... that franchise that is one player away. Something very strong is telling me that this won't happen as it now falls under Teddy Bridgewater.
Should the Vikings Cut Adrian Peterson from their roster? Well, only a moron Dallas Cowboy's fan would utter this statement as they now await the implosion of both Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murry from Jerry Jones roster. Wouldn't it be ironic if Adrian Peterson was to be traded to Dallas only to see Dez Bryant become the latest victim of the commissioners exempt list? This makes no mention of Romo's fragile back. Hello! AD is under contract for the next 3 years were it is going to take multiple #1 draft picks to wedge Adrian Peterson from this roster.
Should Adrian Peterson request a trade? This is a bad idea all the way around as this will destroy his overall earnings ... not enhance it. In short, Adrian Petersons Viking contract was established for him to achieve the NFL rushing record as well as our first Viking Super Bowl Championship. If the Vikings are now forced to demand draft picks in compensation for AD freedom then whomever puts him on their future roster is going to want to restructure his contract as compensation for AD's freedom to seek a new environment. No one in the world is either going to want to pay Adrian Peterson anywhere near the $15 million dollars he stands to make beyond 2016 as he will have little chance of commanding anywhere near these numbers unless he's traded into the abyss (see Moss trade to the Raiders). This is the reality that neither Adrian Peterson or his agent want to see. What Adrian Peterson and his agent wants is guaranteed money. If the Vikings were smart they'd allow him to earn future guaranteed money by carefully restructuring his contract all the while keeping him fluid in 2015 if he chooses the Randy Moss toxic express. These numbers have to be smart as there has to be a belief that Adrian has at least one more dominant year in him as this will most certainly need to be proved.
Adrian Peterson also wants his golden goose (sponsorships) to return to him but unfortunately that ship might have sailed regardless of where he might land. It might just be a bunch of agent fodder to lead-Adrian-on by stating that sponsorship money might come easier in another setting. The reality is sponsors just don't reward knuckleheads as they are paying to link themselves to you.
Should the Vikings aqueous to Adrian Peterson by providing him with a soft landing with the Cowboys as he has openly pondered? Firstly, you have to be careful what you ask for as you might just get it. Hell, he just might be playing with Ponder once again if Romo gets hurt. Wouldn't that be ironic. To be direct, in regard to Adrian's dream of wearing that star, the NFL isn't the NBA where the players get to decide where they will set up rosters with the best talent to dominate every other team. Following though on his request would set a very bad precedent, as in the future, all the great athletes of the NFL will impart their will toward super teams leaving parity ... along with 32 strong franchises, in the dust. No, Adrian Peterson's choices should be to play in Minnesota ... to play in absolute hell ... or to be swapped for multiple high round draft picks for a team that is one player away from a championship. The precedent is Hershel Walker gents!
Will the Vikings find Adrian Peterson's replacement in the draft? There are no four potential replacements for Adrian Peterson in the draft. Let's put it this way ... Troy Williamson was drafted to replace Randy Moss. Enough said.
What will happen to Adrian Peterson if he plays in Dallas? Well, there is one thing for certain. Any hope of reaching and attaining Emmitt Smith's rushing record would be futile. Jerry Jones already owns that mark and there is absolutely no way he's going to let anyone other than his immortal Cowboys to own that record. He'd gladly pay our his millions to ensure Adrian never makes that mark. If you believe otherwise ... then you're a fool.
So, why should Adrian Peterson return to the Vikings? Honor! Adrian Peterson did not lie about what he did whereas the league is filled with liars, cheaters and worse. In time, although Adrian is almost certainly correct in that there is an elephant in the room (the Ghost refers to him as an outright traitor), this individual may never be exposed, where a history indicates that a scapegoat will eventually be found for execution. The key for Adrian is that the traitor has either become, or will become, a harmless toothless cat. Adrian shouldn't waste his time on an untouchable. It quickly mobilized and raised it's ugly head because you whacked the organization in it's soft fleshy nether region ... it's wallet. In time, Adrian will find that his actual nemesis was an omnipotent commissioner, where his recent actions of putting AD back on the commissioners exempt list becomes the ever present indicator.
Since 2007 Adrian has only had one quarterback ... Brett Favre ... but as it turns out that interception sold-us-out ... as of course, he was never a true Viking like yourself. For years everyone has said at one time or another ... imagine what this offense could be with a real quarterback. In 2009, we got a glimpse of what it could be. Adrian has never played with Teddy Bridgewater and just as anxious as the Vikings are to see how dominant Adrian can be once again, Adrian must know what lies within the heart of Teddy Bridgewater. How can you possibly walk away from the answer to the prayers and wishes of the entire Viking collective? Now that Teddy has shown up at your door ... How could you possibly walk away? You've got to see if the gods have finally granted you the tools that you need to reach that 1st championship for the Viking nation.
Should the Vikings pay Adrian Peterson? What is 100% certain is that his losses are very real as 99%+ of us all can't even imagine the money that he's already lost including future earnings. That alone was punishment enough. Over the years, this franchise has paid a kings ransom to free agents that did very little for this organization except to disappoint us. Anyone that balks at guaranteed money sunk into an Peterson contract would need to get his head examined as he's given everything for this organization. Adrian Peterson is worth every cent that he's been paid, or will get paid by this organization because although he opened the door to public opinion by his action ... the man has honor and has stood by it all. Let me be direct in stating that if I were in his shoes I'd be screaming bloody murder and it would be my objective to make 100% certain these actions befall no other NFL, or any other athlete.
Everyone needs to take a collective breath, including Adrian Peterson as there are 31 other NFL franchises that sense blood in the water. Their objective is to slash and destroy every vulnerable region that is now exposed for their folly. The rumor mill is exactly that. Reports of fact are going to come from every viable orafice as the narrators of this dribble loses nothing, but stands to gain everything ... if we falter in any way. Make no mistake ... the course of action is to pay it's own athletes ... not to pay free agents for what they did for other franchises. The Minnesota Vikings are a very strong organization and is most certainly on an upward swing. Most of the parts are all in the right places and the coaches are here for all the right reasons. We have taken our licks and have stood strong. Why would you walk away from that?
One last minor note. Agents work for the athletes that leave their blood, sweat and tears on the field. It's not the other way around. New surroundings don't always work out so well. You need to look no futher than the Lifetime Waiver.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: February 28, 2015