ESPN: Adrian Peterson still 'uneasy' about returning to Vikings


The Minnesota Vikings have gone out of their way in the last week to publicly welcome suspended running back Adrian Peterson back.

Everyone from the team's owner/president Mark Wilf, to vice president Kevin Warren, to general manager Rick Spielman to coach Mike Zimmer to Peterson's teammates have openly expressed a desire for the star running back to return.

But despite all of that, Peterson told ESPN's Ben Goessling Thursday he remains "uneasy" about returning to the Vikings.

According to the report, Peterson said the Vikings working with the NFL to put him on the commissioner's exempt list in September made him question how much support he had from the team, for whom he's played his whole career.

He called that decision an "ambush."

"It shows you can have all the loyalty toward someone and toward an organization, a fanbase, but when things really shift and it's you or the empire, they're gonna put you out on a leash. I said 'Of course (I would love to come back to the Vikings, after a court hearing in Minneapolis on Feb. 6).' I said it. But my emotions, as far as those things I feel, those are for players like Chad Greenway, those guys that play the game just like me, that have the same passion I have, the same goal I have, to win a championship. That's where it comes from. It don't come from the organization. I'm not in a good place when it comes to that."

Peterson is under contract with the Vikings for 2015 and is scheduled to make a base salary of $12.75 million.

On Thursday while speaking to reporters at the NFL Combine, Zimmer reiterated that he expects Peterson will return in 2015, and indicated the team has no plans to add a running back during free agency.

It was just one day after Spielman said essentially the same thing.

Peterson told Goessling that he knows there are a lot of people in the organization that want him back, but he added that he knows there are others who do not.

"It's a difficult transition, and it's not just about me," Peterson told ESPN. "I have a wife who was able to sit back and see how people in Minnesota said this and said that, how media in Minnesota took the head of the situation with my child, and were digging into things that weren't even relevant. That wasn't people in Texas – it was people in Minnesota that dug in and brought things out. That impacted me, but most importantly, it impacted the people around me – my family, my kids."

Peterson can apply to be reinstated to the NFL on April 15, unless a federal judge sides with the NFLPA in its lawsuit against the league on Peterson's behalf.

It's clear Peterson intends to play somewhere in 2015, but whether it will be in Minnesota remains to be seen.

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