The Dallas Cowboys are rumored to be interested in running back Adrian Peterson for next season, but the Minnesota Vikings may have just thrown a wrench into those plans.
This offseason, the Cowboys will be faced with a difficult roster situation, with both Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray hitting free agency at the same time. While some sources close to the team say owner Jerry Jones would like to find a way to keep both, it’s likely they will only have the money for one, and it appears that Murray is the odd one out.
At the same time, rumors have circulated that the Dallas Cowboys wanted to bring in Adrian Peterson to replace Murray. Peterson grew up close to Dallas, had spoken about the idea of playing for the Cowboys one day, and even talked with Jones on the phone about one day anchoring the Dallas backfield.
But that plan hinged on the Minnesota Vikings letting Peterson go, which now appears much less likely. In a conference call on Thursday, the team’s new chief operating officer, Kevin Warren, said the Vikings would welcome Peterson back as an important part of the team going forward.
“I think I’ve made it very clear how I personally feel about Adrian, how our organization feels about him,” Warren said Thursday.
“(Vikings president) Mark Wilf made it very clear yesterday… Last year was a complicated year, at various levels, but once Adrian gets all of his items resolved with the NFL, is free to play again and rejoin our franchise, I think it’s good for Adrian. It’d be good for us, it’d be good for all the Vikings fans, it’d be good for our community and it’d be good for the NFL.”
Adrian Peterson was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list on September 17 after being indicted on charges of injuring his son with a wooden switch used to discipline him. He’s not available for reinstatement until April 15, though it could come sooner, as the NFL Players Association is suing the NFL in U.S. District Court to seek immediate reinstatement.
Adrian Peterson may not want to leave Minnesota, either. Though he admitted back in December that he considered playing for other teams, Peterson said Minnesota’s support throughout the process left him even more committed to the team.
“Through this process, I’ve thought about playing other places, with everything that’s been floating around the organization,” Peterson said. “But I keep a level mind. The people that are doubting me are people that are, in the big scheme of things, not relevant. I’m able to look at the organization as a whole and see (it) for what it is. There are friends, teammates — people I’ve been around for years. I think about what I would be leaving behind, but it’s a business as well.”
The situation would appear to leave the Dallas Cowboys in backfield limbo. Rumors had indicated that if they lost DeMarco Murray, they would target either Peterson or Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, but now both appear unlikely. The Seahawks were once rumored to be cutting Lynch, but now it appears he will either sign a contract extension with the team or chose to retire.