Zimmer believes Peterson will remain a Viking

Mike Zimmer continues to believe Adrian Peterson will be a Viking in 2015.

While the Adrian Peterson situation seems contentious right now, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said on Tuesday he believes the situation will work itself out and the star running back will be with the team for the season opener.

Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, told ESPN on Monday that he believes it would be in Peterson’s best interest to play elsewhere in 2015, but Zimmer doesn’t think that’s going to happen.

“Everybody in the world remembers Adrian Peterson as a Minnesota Viking,” Zimmer said on PFT Live from the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. “And when he gets a chance to go into the Hall of Fame, when he gets to go in there, he’s going to want to go in how everyone represented him and remembered him. I just believe that that’s how it’s going to work out.”

Zimmer and Vikings general manager Rick Spielman flew to Houston earlier this month to meet with Peterson, but Peterson’s exact desires apparently remain unclear to the Vikings.

“I don’t know exactly, really, what he wants to do. I know when we talked about football and the vision that I have for our football team and the vision I have for him, he seemed good to me,” Zimmer said. “I just think sometimes you get in situations where – I know I’ve been in situations before that I haven’t felt like it was the right situation, but I was under contract and I stayed and things worked out great and I believe that’s how it’s going to happen here.”

Dogra said earlier he was told the Vikings won’t release Peterson, and with a 2015 salary of $12.75 million it could be hard for the Vikings to find a trade partner willing to give up much in return and honor his current contract. The Vikings appear willing to keep him on at his full salary, and Spielman, when asked if Peterson will be with the Vikings in 2015, continues to stick with the standard line that Peterson is under contract.

“I respect him from the day I met him as a football player and everything else,” Zimmer said. “He’s done so many great things for us in the community. … I’m just looking forward to him getting back and playing with us. I can’t speculate on what other people say. All I know is how I feel and how we feel as an organization.”

From Zimmer to Spielman to other decision-makers in the organization, the Vikings have put up a unified front since the end of the 2014 season with their desire to have Peterson back with the team.

Zimmer believes having Peterson, even at 30 years old, will help the offense as a whole continue to improve with Teddy Bridgewater entering his second season an an NFL quarterback.

“That is always the No. 1 thing is to get (Peterson) in the backfield with Teddy, Mike Wallace on the outside, Charles Johnson on the outside, Kyle Rudolph inside,” Zimmer said. “I think that’s always been the situation that we want to be in.”

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