There aren't many statistics that concern Vikings fullback Jerome Felton, perhaps because he doesn't generate many.
There are the three receptions for 35 yards he had in 2012 – he joked that he can stretch the field – and there weren't any carries for Felton. Carries and catches aren't really what he is paid to do. Blocking is, and he does it better than any fullback the Vikings have had in years.
The question now is whether Felton, a free agent, will be in purple for years to come. He is all for returning, saying he "would hope not" to test the free-agent market in March.
Felton met with general manager Rick Spielman earlier this week and called it a "good conversation." Felton's agent, Sean Howard, and Spielman both know his desire is to remain in Minnesota.
"He knows that this is where I want to be; he knows it," Felton said of his agent. "Rick and them know that. I know they want me here. It's just about coming together and seeing if we can get something done."
The Vikings likely want to get a deal struck with Felton, too. He was an integral part in running back Adrian Peterson's best season as a pro and nearly setting the NFL's single-season rushing mark. Peterson ended with 2,097 yards rushing, only nine yards short of Eric Dickerson's record from 1984.
That's part of the enticement drawing Felton back to the Vikings.
"I think when you have a guy like Adrian, you know they're going to run the ball. That's not going to change here; they're built on that," Felton said. "I've been on teams where the promise was to run the ball and things like that, but in reality that's not what it was. Just to be in a place where you know that was going to be, we were built on our foundation. I felt like I could succeed in this offense. They gave me an opportunity and I just wanted to take full advantage of it and I think I was able to do that. Like I said, I'm not satisfied. I think my best football is ahead of me. I think this team's best football is ahead of us."
Ironically, Peterson has been public in the past with his stated desire to run without a lead blocker. However, that could be changing. Coaches (and Felton) have correctly pointed out to Peterson during film-review sessions that his longest runs have come with Felton leading the way. The visual evidence seems to be working.
Peterson doesn't think there is any need to help convince the Vikings to re-sign Felton.
"I don't think I have to put a good word in. He's a Pro Bowler. Obviously he helped us pick up the running game and he did an outstanding job, so I think he put his own stamp on it," Peterson said.
Felton said the Vikings plan to keep a fullback as part of the offense, so he would be a natural fit to re-sign. And he's so amenable to return that he's willing to not even bother testing the free-agent market.
"I would hope not. Obviously you never know how it's going to turn out. I know it's a business and all that," Felton said. "I feel good about being here so I hope that they get something done before (free agency). That's my goal so we'll see what happens."
Felton said he doesn't want to think about the business side of things too much now. He wants to relax after the season and let Howard do his job. A new contract might not happen for a couple months, but Felton has made his desire clear to Spielman and Howard: He wants to remain a Viking, and he was told the Vikings would be "aggressive" in trying to work out a deal.
"I told Spielman, ‘This is where I want to be.' I told him that I want it to get done," Felton said. "I've got to let them deal with the business side of it and I'll just keep preparing and make sure that I'm the best football player I can be next year.
"I'm hoping that I remain a Minnesota Viking."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Fullback Felton wants to remain a Viking
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