Adrian Peterson might want to go home to Texas. The Vikings star running back reportedly told Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he'd like to play for the Cowboys when he's finished playing in Minnesota.
ESPN's "Outside the Lines" reports that the conversation took place over the phone in June. ESPN senior writer Don Van Natta Jr. was in a Cowboys suite when Jones was on the phone with Peterson.
"Well, I understand, Adrian," Jones told Peterson during the call. "I'd like that, too ... Well, I love your story. I love your daddy's story. I've always respected what you've been about. I've always been a fan of yours."
"Well, we'll see what we can do, if we can make that happen," Jones, who is also the Cowboys' general manager, told Peterson. "Hmm hmm ... I'd like that, too ... Well, we're talking pig Latin here, but let's see if we can do that ... We're talking pig Latin here, but let's see what we can do about that. OK, Adrian, thanks."
Peterson released a statement on Vikings.com responding to the report.
"This was a casual conversation between NFL colleagues in which I never indicated I wanted to leave the Vikings. I have always said I understand the NFL is a business but that I would love to retire as a Viking," he said in the statement.
On Wednesday, Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune released a sit-down conversation he had with Peterson. In it, the former NFL most valuable player said he wants to finish his career as a Viking.
“It’s important to me to finish my career here,” Peterson said. “I really have a lot of respect for the Minnesota Vikings. I really didn’t play much college ball, because of injuries. They saw something in me that those six teams that passed on me didn’t see."
In July, Peterson told ESPN's Ben Goessling that he "wasn't happy" with the Vikings organization after a losing 2013 season and the firing of then-head coach Leslie Frazier. But his mind began to change with the arrival of new head coach Mike Zimmer and his staff.
"I wasn't happy. I wasn't feeling good about being here in Minnesota at the end of last season," he said. "Coaches change, but everything was shaken up.
"That changed when these guys came in, and draft picks and different things like that. [I] bought back in, and I'll let it ride out."
Anyone associated with an NFL team that is contacted by a player under contract with another team must report the incident immediately to league offices. Failure to do so could result in severe penalties for "tampering." Jones says he hasn't talked to Peterson since and he doesn't consider the call tampering.
Peterson, 29, still has plenty of time left on his contract with the Vikings, but some have suggested this could be his final year in Purple.
"My personal opinion," an unnamed AFC general manager said to Bleacher Report, "is this season will be Peterson's last with the Vikings. Despite the cap hit, they'll make some sort of move to get him off the roster."
Peterson will make $11.75 million this year and $12.75 million in 2015. The final year of his deal in 2017 will pay him a base salary of $15.75 million.
Stay tuned for more on this story.