Peterson: 'I'm happy to be a Viking' as training camp begins in Mankato


All seems to be forgiven as Adrian Peterson reported to Vikings training camp in Mankato Saturday.

The Star Tribune reports that several hundred fans who were on hand gave Peterson a warm welcome, chanting "AP!" and waving signs; one of them said, "Welcome home AP; real Vikings fans still love you."

Peterson said he was flattered by the fans' support.

“It felt good,’’ Peterson said, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “It’s a good feeling, just the support that I’ve been receiving through the entire process.”

That "process" has been going on since last September, when Peterson was criminally charged with child abuse in Texas for striking his young son with a wooden switch. He was suspended for 15 games.

Peterson was reinstated in April, but reports swirled around for months that Peterson was seeking a trade, particularly to the Dallas Cowboys, and his agent did nothing to dissuade those rumors.

The Vikings had declined to trade him and had full control over the running back’s contract for the next three seasons. But it didn't include any guaranteed money in the last two years.

Just last week the Vikings announced they'd restructured Peterson's contract to guarantee his salary over the next two years, and that apparently was the turning point.

But Peterson said Saturday he knew all along there was a good chance he'd still be wearing Vikings purple.

“I’m definitely happy,’’ Peterson said, according to the Pioneer Press. “If that wasn’t the case, I’d would have just been like, you know what, I’ll just play this year out and not redo the contract. I’m happy to be a Viking.’’

Vikings' GM Rick Spielman said he considers the new contract a win for both the team and for Peterson.

I think resiliency would be a good way to describe getting through everything, knowing in the end what is right -- what is right for Adrian and what's right for the organization," Spielman said, according to ESPN. I think everybody's looking forward to moving on."

As for the upcoming football season, Peterson said he's looking forward to playing and predicts the Vikings will have a better season than their 7-9 finish last year.

You can see video of his comments here.

Here are a few other scenes from check-in day in Mankato.

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