You want loyalty? Apparently you have to buy a dog after the Minnesota Vikings ended their relationship with the great Adrian Peterson, the team’s all-time leading rusher.
The Vikings signed free agent running back Latavius Murray away from the Oakland Raiders last week. Murray helped the Raiders go 12-4 last year and make the playoffs in the AFC West. He was a 2015 Pro Bowler when he ran for 1,066 yards. The Vikings also signed free agent linebacker Datone Jones.
Peterson over the last three years played in just 19 of a possible 48 regular season games, last year in the team’s second game of the season and its first at U.S. Bank Stadium against the Green Bay Packers. In prime time Peterson suffered a knee injury that required surgery.
In 2014 he missed all but one game after being indicted for assault and suspended for hitting his son with a switch. The NFL placed him on the seldom-used commissioner’s exempt list.
Over the last three years, Peterson has made about $36 million. His contract ended on March 9, 2017 when the Vikings refused to pay him $6 million guaranteed.
Peterson is the team’s all-time leading rusher with 11,747 yards. In 2012 Peterson became the third Vikings player to be named NFL MVP, after Alan Page in 1971 and Fran Tarkenton in 1975. Of the three former Vikings MVPs, only Tarkenton was not cut by the Vikings.
Peterson led the NFL in rushing three times and had the second-best rushing yards season in NFL history with 2,097 yards. Peterson set the NFL single-game rushing record in 2007 with 296 yards vs. San Diego.
Peterson celebrates his 32nd birthday on March 21. What’s next for him? Tampa Bay, Oakland or Green Bay are possibilities.
Last year the Vikings started the season 5-0, finished 3-8, and missed the playoffs for the second time in three years under Mike Zimmer. The Vikings won only one playoff game in Peterson’s Vikings career.
Peterson played on playoff teams for three different Vikings head coaches: Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier, and Zimmer.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.