Are the Vikings bluffing when key members of the organization publicly say they expect Adrian Peterson to play for them next season?
It's a question without an answer, and all the while, Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, continues to make a public spectacle about his client's unhappiness with the team. The latest came Monday when Dogra told ESPN's Kevin Seifert that it's not in Peterson's best interests to stay in Minnesota.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio believes Dogra was taking one last shot in an attempt to create a trade market that currently doesn't exist for Peterson. And when the Vikings say they don't plan on doing anything but watching Peterson play for the Vikings next season, they really mean it.
But in spending a full day (and night) at the league meetings and talking to folks in position to know what’s really happening, I’m starting to get the sense that, when the Vikings say Adrian Peterson is under contract, the only intended message is that Adrian Peterson is under contract.
Which is a nice way of saying, “He plays for us or he plays for no one.”
So when Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf told ESPN on Monday that the team fully expects "him to join his teammates and be part of what we feel is going to be a great season ahead," Wilf might have been telling the truth.
If traded, it won't happen soon
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport doesn't expect any trade – if there is one – too happen anytime in the near future. Rapoport says the most likely time for a deal to go down is during NFL Draft week, possibly while another team is "on the clock."
The Draft begins Thursday, April 30.
No reason for Vikings to trade AP
Frank Scwhab of Yahoo! Sports says there's no reason the Vikings should "downgrade" the team – a team that just added explosive wide receiver Mike Wallace to what could be a potent offense – just to satisfy Peterson with a trade that probably wouldn't give the Vikings the return they're looking for.
The Vikings have all the leverage. But as Deadspin notes, the back-and-forth between Dogra and the Vikings is all part of the negotiating process.
Meanwhile, Peterson doesn't seem to be too distressed over the situation. The guy hopped on a camel and rode it to his 30th birthday party on Saturday.