After meeting with league officials in New York last week, there is a growing belief that, when April 15 hits tomorrow, Peterson could find his NFL career back on track, forcing the issue as to whether he’s going to remain a member of the Vikings, be traded to another team or remain on the Vikings roster as a holdout.
Asked by ESPN Monday if he plans to participate in the Vikings offseason workout program, Peterson didn’t give any insight.
“We’ll see,” Peterson said. “I haven’t even been reinstated yet.”
While Peterson was in Minnesota over the weekend, he didn’t meet with the Vikings before returning to Texas Monday afternoon. His career remains in limbo as there are lingering questions as to whether Commissioner Roger Goodell believes he has taken enough of the steps the commissioner outlined after placing him on the suspended list to warrant reinstatement.
Peterson went through the process of the court system, pleading no contest to reckless assault last November. In the eyes of the Texas judicial system, Peterson has paid his penalty for his crime. However, he has yet to pass the test with the NFL, whether that comes tomorrow or not.
The league has tried to make an example out of Peterson and fellow running back Ray Rice by toughening up the penalties for future offenders of the league’s domestic violence policy, but both of them precluded the stiffer rules and U.S. District Court Judge David Doty ruled in favor of the player’s association in a Minneapolis courtroom, saying the NFL went beyond the scope of its powers by instituting the revised penalty for an offense that pre-dated the policy taking effect.
However, when Peterson’s suspension was lifted, he was returned to the exempt list. He remains on that list.
Nobody other than Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, has been heard from in terms of where Peterson will resume his football career. Dogra has gone on record as saying Peterson still has issues with how the Vikings handled his situation and, in Dogra’s opinion, the best option for Peterson would be to resume his career elsewhere. The Vikings have maintained they want Peterson back and have no plans to trade or release him. The situation has remained effectively the same over the past several months.
Perhaps as early as tomorrow, that will change. At that point, Peterson’s future may come into clearer focus.