That’s according to Peterson’s father, Nelson, who told Yahoo Sports the 2012 NFL MVP and six-time Pro Bowl star’s preferences are the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Colts, San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The running back reportedly hasn’t requested a trade or ruled out returning to the Vikings, his father said, but the 10,190-yard rusher would be willing to restructure his hefty contract to make a trade work.
Peterson is due $12.75 million in base salary and would count $15.4 million against the salary cap this season. He’s scheduled to make $15 million with the same cap number in 2016 and $17 million with the same cap number in 2017.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has reiterated his team’s position that it intends to welcome back Peterson when the running back comes off the NFL Commissioner’s Exempt list. Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer are flying to Texas Wednesday to meet with Peterson, according to numerous media reports.
But Nelson Peterson said, “All options are open. There’s no doors closed to anything at this time.”
The Colts have an obvious need at running back after two years with an ineffective Trent Richardson. Ahmad Bradshaw is set to become a free agent and both of his seasons with the Colts ended early with him on injured reserve.
Daniel Herron is a restricted free agent and could be tendered an inexpensive offer. The only other running back on the roster is Zurlon Tipton, who just completed his rookie season and was on the active roster for six games.
The Colts have about $38 million in cap space. The obvious questions are what would they be willing to give up for Peterson and can they fit even a restructured contract into the team’s long-term plans?
Quarterback Andrew Luck has one year remaining on his contract with an option year, which means he’ll probably count $20 million per year if not more when he gets a new contract.
Offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton are entering the final years of their contracts, too, and the Colts are expected to want to keep both of those players. Castonzo is the team’s best offensive lineman and Hilton the No. 1 receiver. Castonzo is set to make $7.43 million this season while Hilton will earn $1.67 million.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.