Wednesday’s roundup: Zimmer expects Peterson back
The Vikings don’t plan to trade Adrian Peterson and fully expect him to be with the team for the 2015 season.
His agent and Peterson believe otherwise.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was emphatic about keeping Peterson at the NFL owners’ meetings Wednesday.
“We’re good to go. I mean, he’s under contract and we expect him to honor it,” Zimmer said. “I think when he goes into the Hall of Fame, he’s going to want to go in with the jersey that everyone remembers him as. That will be as a Viking.”
Not so fast, agent Ben Dogra told reporters.
“Adrian and I feel it is in his best interest, and it would be his desire, to play elsewhere in the NFL,” Dogra said. “This decision is not personal in any way, it is business.”
Peterson’s contract has three years remaining, with a $12.75 million salary for 2015. None of the remaining money on the deal is guaranteed.
Peterson, 30, has not yet been reinstated by the NFL from his suspension under the personal conduct policy. The star running back and 2012 league MVP has balked at returning to the team, questioning the Minnesota organization’s support of him after he was suspended for disciplining his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch. The case was resolved in court with a plea bargain.
“I think we are pretty firm,” Zimmer said. “I think we handled everything the way we are allowed to handle it.
“At times we were not able to speak with him, which really is kind of ridiculous because of the (league) rules.”
Peterson currently is on the commissioner’s exempt list while the NFL appeals a federal judge’s decision to nullify an arbitration ruling that upheld his suspension.
Dogra said the standstill comes down to how the Vikings view his client.
“I would like to have their position in writing, and they have not done so,” Dogra said. “Is Adrian the face of their franchise or is he in their mind a 30-year-old running back? I want them to tell (us) that.”
Asked if he thought Peterson and Dogra were trying to force the Vikings’ hand, resulting in a trade, Zimmer didn’t hesitate.
“I’m not going to speculate on what he wants and doesn’t want, but Adrian’s under contract for three more years for us,” Zimmer said. “And that’s why you sign these contracts, why you get these big bonuses.”
Statue to honor Wilson
Late Bills owner and native Detroiter Ralph Wilson will be honored with a life-sized statue erected at the stadium that bears his name.
The decision to commemorate the team’s founder and Pro Football Hall of Famer member was the brainchild of new Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, and Wilson’s widow, Mary, the team announced. The statue will serve as a centerpiece in a newly established Founder’s Plaza at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Garrett cautions Hardy
Coach Jason Garrett says Greg Hardy must “do the right things from the beginning” to be part of the Cowboys.
Garrett said the team talked to people going to Hardy’s high school days in determining whether to sign him.
The defensive end was convicted in North Carolina last July of assaulting a female and communicating harassment, but the case was dismissed after Hardy reached a settlement with the victim.
Hardy signed a one-year, $13 million free agent contract with the Cowboys, with only $1 million guaranteed.
Ex-Washington linebacker London Fletcher wrote on Twitter that he had “reached out” to the team’s former defensive coordinator Jim Haslett — a former Lions defensive coordinator — and “apologized for the harm I caused him and his family. He didn’t deserve to be treated like that.”
In a TV appearance in December, Fletcher called Haslett “clueless” and responsible for Washington’s “ineptitude” on defense.
... The Jets signed former Lions tight end Kellen Davis.
... The Bears agreed to a one-year deal with linebacker Mason Foster.