NFL to appeal judge's ruling overturning Adrian Peterson's suspension


The NFL will appeal a federal judge's decision to overturn Adrian Peterson's suspension.

U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled in favor of Peterson and the NFL Players Association's request to overturn an NFL arbitrator's ruling to keep the suspension in place.

The league announced that it would appeal Doty's ruling and place Peterson back on the Commissioner's Exempt List, while the appeal is pending.

In a statement from the Vikings, the team said Peterson remains an important part of the organization.

"Adrian Peterson is an important member of the Minnesota Vikings, and our focus remains on welcoming him back when he is able to rejoin our organization. Today's ruling leaves Adrian's status under the control of the NFL, the NFLPA and the legal system, and we will have no further comment at this time."

Judge: NFL arbitrator exceeded authority

In a 16-page ruling released to the public, via the NFLPA, Doty found that an NFL-assigned arbitrator who first reviewed Peterson's case and upheld the suspension "exceeded his authority."

“This is a victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness," NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement. "Our collective bargaining agreement has rules for implementation of the personal conduct policy and when those rules are violated, our union always stands up to protect our players' rights. This is yet another example why neutral arbitration is good for our players, good for the owners and good for our game.”

Vikings options

Minnesota has options with Peterson going forward. The team can simply bring him back at the $12.75 million he's due in 2015 (signed through 2017), ask him to restructure his contract, cut him or trade him. The Star Tribune notes that players cannot be traded until March 10, which coincides with the beginning of the league's new year and free-agency period.

NFL can still appeal

The fight between Peterson and the NFL may not be over. According to Pro Football Talk, the NFL could appeal Doty's decision, and that will be the case, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.

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