Zim: Vikings won’t pursue RBs in free agency

Mike Zimmer said the Vikings are looking at running backs in the draft, not free agency.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has supported Adrian Peterson since he was first put on the commissioner’s exempt list in the week following the Vikings’ Week 1 win over the Rams.

With all the uncertainty surrounding the Peterson situation it could make sense for the Vikings to bring in some free agent running backs. Zimmer, however, said that is not the case. In general, Zimmer would rather find players in the draft than free agency and build his team that way. He believes free agency is for plugging in holes, not for building a team.

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“We’re not going to look for a running back in free agency so that part is not an issue,” Zimmer said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Not only does Zimmer think Peterson is a good player, but from the brief time spent with him thinks he is a good person. Peterson admitted to his mistake, Zimmer said, and now Zimmer is hoping he is doing everything mandated by the league so he can return to the team.

“I haven’t changed any from my support of Adrian since he got suspended,” Zimmer said. “It’s still important for me that Adrian does all the things he’s supposed to do as far as the things mandated by the league. But also him becoming a better person in that aspect. All the other things in my opinion he’s pretty darn good person. As I’ve said before, we all mistakes and he made one and he’s admitted to it and we go from there. I’m hopeful that he’s back with us I think that people will realize that and remember all the good things that he’s done throughout his career and not just on the football field either.”

Even though the Vikings are not going to look at running backs in free agency, they will look at them in the draft. General manager Rick Spielman has already expressed how good he thinks the running backs in this draft are, and although Zimmer has not studied them too closely, he tends to agree.

“(The 2015 running back class is) better than it has been and I haven’t studied them all yet,” Zimmer said. “I’ve been starting to go mostly on the defensive guys. But we’ve talked about them. (Spielman) does feel really good about them.’’

In recent weeks, people in the Vikings front office and ownership have been saying they want Peterson back. Things seem to be leaning in favor of him returning to the team. Things can always change, however, so the Vikings will need to have a plan in place in case Peterson does not return to the team.

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