According to court documents, Peterson has enrolled in a four-month program dealing with psychological counseling and parenting supervision, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. After Peterson was indicted in Texas on child abuse charges, Hennepin County Child Protective Services opened an investigation.
Peterson’s decision to be compliant with the court is likely a plus in his bid for reinstatement to the NFL, showing the contrition that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell apparently is seeking.
In the ruling on Peterson’s suspension following the disposition of his court case in Texas that eventually got Peterson removed from the commissioner’s exempt list, Goodell said that Peterson should get counseling to deal with his child-rearing approach.
Ironically, one of the primary points of emphasis made by the NFL Players Association is that, as technically an employee who works at the behest of the owners, Goodell doesn’t have the authority to mandate therapy for an employee of the company.
Judge David Doty has March 6 to render a decision. It could come sooner than that and the impact of that result is likely going to have a significant role in the Vikings’ free agent plans. If the intent is to keep Peterson at this current salary, Doty’s decision won’t have an impact one way or the other. If, however, the Vikings are looking to either trade or release Peterson, or simply renegotiate his contract, having a ruling that upholds Goodell’s decision could vastly alter the landscape of free agency.
If nothing else, if Peterson is to return to the Vikings, it may help heal some of the wounds Vikings fans feel over the child discipline situation now that he has been seeking counseling to make sure that he makes better parenting decisions in the future – whether it impacts his football career or not. He’ll be a father long after he’s a football player.