The biggest question of the offseason for the Vikings, maybe the entire NFL, is what will happen with suspended running back Adrian Peterson.
- Will a judge overrule the NFL's suspension and reinstate him within weeks?
- Will Roger Goodell get his wish and keep Peterson away from reinstatement until at least April 15?
- What will the Vikings choose to do with Peterson if he is reinstated?
One theory that's been floating around for months is that the Vikings won't want to pay Peterson the $12.75 million he's due in 2015. Instead, they'll ask him to restructure his contract. The theory makes sense if it's true that no team in the league will want to pay Peterson his full salary.
But that's not what local sports agent Blake Baratz, who runs Minneapolis-based Institute for Athletes believes.
"In my opinion, is it going to be impossible for him to make $12.75 million in 2015? No," Baratz told ESPN.com's Ben Goessling. "I think it's a very, very difficult decision for both sides, but if you asked me to pick who has more leverage, it would be Adrian Peterson. He’s already on the books for a certain number. He's 100 percent healthy. The season’s over; there's no risk of injury."
Goessling adds that simple contract restructures with players like linebacker Chad Greenway, wide receiver Greg Jennings and offensive lineman Charlie Johnson would make it easier to bring Peterson back at his full salary.
Every team official's public opinion on Peterson's future, from head coach Mike Zimmer to co-owner Mark Wilf, have said they want the former MVP back next season.
Monday Morning Quarterback's Peter King believes Peterson's future in Minnesota will be determined by his attitude. King writes:
"If he is going to mope about being there, it’s not going to be a good marriage going forward. If he moves on from Minnesota, I see a couple of interesting alternatives. If the Dallas Cowboys do not re-sign DeMarco Murray, there’s no question in my mind that Peterson would intrigue Jerry Jones. The Ravens also would be smitten with the prospect of landing Peterson. But in Dallas or Baltimore, it will take some imaginative cap work for Peterson to land there."
The Vikings hope to get Peterson reinstated before free agency begins March 10.