NFL Reinstates Vikings RB Adrian Peterson

The NFL has reinstated running back Adrian Peterson after serving a suspension and spending time on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. Some Cowboys-watchers think this is a Dallas-related story. The Vikings seem to think otherwise.

The NFL reinstated Adrian Peterson, effective Friday, with the condition that the Minnesota Vikings superstar running back have no more violations of the Personal Conduct Policy.

Peterson will be allowed to participate in all team activities starting Friday, and the Vikings start their offseason conditioning program on Monday. It’s unclear if he will attend any of the team’s voluntary conditioning or practices. Their only mandatory practice is June 18-20, their full-team minicamp. But the club's position is clear.

"The Minnesota Vikings have been informed by the NFL that Adrian Peterson has been reinstated. We look forward to Adrian re-joining the Vikings," the team said in its brief statement following the news.

In a letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell, Peterson was informed that he is expected to fulfill his remaining obligations to the authorities in Minnesota and Texas, as well as the additional commitments Peterson made during his April 7 meeting with the commissioner regarding maintaining an ongoing program of counseling and treatment as recommended by medical advisors.

Those "Texas obligations'' are, of course, related to his legal issues, not to the Dallas Cowboys. Nevertheless, speculation continues that AD will attempt to leverage his way out of Minnesota (where he had said he's "uneasy'' with the lack of support during his legal problem) ... and in fact, has examined the possibility of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones skipping past the advice of his lieutenants to at least explore the idea of Peterson returning to his home state of Texas to play for the Cowboys.

Peterson’s case stems from his May 2014 corporal punishment of his 4-year-old son when he used a wooden switch for discipline. He was indicted on child-abuse charges but eventually pleaded no contest to reckless assault on Nov. 4. In between his indictment in early September and his plea contest, he spent time on the exempt list and played in only the season opener, missing the final 15 games of the season. The NFL suspended him on Nov. 18 until “at least” April 15, and on Thursday the league announced his reinstatement.


“Beyond the requirement to comply with his court obligations and plan of counseling, Peterson was reminded that his continuing participation in the NFL depends on his avoidance of any further conduct that violates the Personal Conduct Policy or other NFL policies,” the NFL said in a statement. “Any further violation of the Personal Conduct Policy by Peterson would result in additional discipline, which could include suspension without pay or banishment from the NFL.”

Any move by AD away from the Vikings would require triangular negotiations between Minnesota and bidding teams (the Cardinals figure to be at least as involved as Dallas) and between the bidding teams, with permission from Minnesota, trying to re-do a contract with Peterson to reduce his existing three-year, $45-million contract. And all of this would, ideally for all parties, occur before and in conjunction with the April 29 NFL Draft, as the identity of Peterson's employer being key to how all involved teams decide to use their picks that weekend.

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