Spielman: Vikings steadfast wanting Peterson

Rick Spielman reiterated two days before for the draft that the Vikings “have no interest in trading Adrian Peterson.”

As the draft rumors swirl about the potential landing spots for Adrian Peterson, the most likely one remains Minnesota, his home since the Minnesota Vikings drafted him in 2007.

General manager Rick Spielman almost looked and sounded surprised that it took a handful of questions after a 10-minute intro at his predraft press conference before he was asked about the Peterson situation. It’s been the media topic de jour the last few months, but the Vikings haven’t change their song: They want Peterson to return.

“I think Coach (Mike) Zimmer stated it pretty clear that we have no interest in trading Adrian Peterson, and we don’t,” Spielman said. “Adrian made a mistake. He’s paid the price for that mistake, but I think if our organization didn’t believe in Adrian Peterson he probably still wouldn’t be here today and that’s from our ownership on down. We believe in Adrian Peterson but also know that we’re a pretty good football team with Adrian Peterson in our backfield as well.”

The Vikings were willing to pay Peterson last year while he was on the Commissioner’s Exempt List – that is part of the terms of being on that list – but the NFL also suspended Peterson without pay for six games for disciplining his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch. Peterson said he was “uneasy” about a return to the Vikings, indicating his unhappiness with how the organization proceeded without him last year.

Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, has been busy apparently trying to stir the waters for a Peterson trade, posting a picture of himself sitting in a chair with a Peterson jersey behind him and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers hat on his head with the message “Game on.” Spielman was asked about Dogra at the Vikings’ predraft press conference and maintained the Vikings’ respect for him. Any other answer would have only roiled the already-muddy waters.

“I understand the business. I’ve been in the business a long time and I have the utmost respect for Ben Dogra. He is an extremely bright individual,” Spielman said. “We’ve done plenty of deals with him. He’s successful in the business because he has all those traits to be a very successful agent. And I understand the business side of things. But I don’t know if I have any more respect of any other agent than Ben Dogra.”

The Vikings did sign cornerback Terence Newman, who is represented by Dogra, in free agency.

Still, the story about a potential trade of Peterson will continue until it either happens or Peterson returns for workouts and offseason practices with the Vikings and publicly clears the air. To this point, neither of those has happened.

“I will tell you this and we can just end the Adrian Peterson stuff: Our position has not changed since all the statements we made down at the owners’ meetings,” Spielman said. “Adrian Peterson is under contract. His suspension was lifted. We’re looking forward to having Adrian Peterson back here as a Minnesota Viking in 2015 and that’s the end of the story. That’s it.”

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