Peterson’s tell-tale point still a month away

Adrian Peterson doesn’t have to attend any practices until the full minicamp in June. Until then, the shadow of doubt will remain on his intentions, despite the Vikings making their stance clear.

We are nearing the point of critical mass when it comes to the apparent standoff between Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings, as the mandatory portion of the offseason program will likely be the first test of wills since the Vikings didn’t accommodate the request of Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, with a draft weekend trade.

At a time when the truth is varnished during the draft process, the Vikings’ front office – from the Wilf family ownership to the coaching staff – has retained a unified voice in saying that they want Adrian Peterson back. During a media interview following the first round of the draft last week, Spielman pointedly shot down a question about whether Peterson was going to remain a Viking by cutting off the questioner and saying, “Adrian Peterson is under contract as a Minnesota Viking. End of story.”

While it remains unclear what, if any, draft weekend offers were thrown out in an attempt to trade for Peterson, if there was an offer, it didn’t meet the Vikings’ asking price. The result? As of now, Peterson remains a Viking and the window to obtain the best potential deal has likely passed.

However, it seemed curious that during the Cowboys rookie minicamp this weekend, owner Jerry Jones made the comment that Dallas would be willing to trade its first-round pick in 2016. What prompted Jones to throw the line in the water is unclear, but for those versed in NFL-speak – a coded language that requires deciphering – it would seem logical that Jones’ statement would be a message being sent to the Vikings (and/or Peterson) that if things don’t work out, Dallas remains an option on the table.

At this point, the Vikings have remained consistent and steadfast in their commitment to honoring the contract Peterson signed that still has three years remaining on it and has him being the highest paid running back in NFL history. To date, there hasn’t been a shot officially fired across the bow. Peterson doesn’t have to be at any of the organized team activities (OTAs) that start May 26 and wrap up on June 11. Those are voluntary.

But the mandatory minicamp (June 16-18) will be the first chance to see if lines in the sand are being drawn. If A.P. really does want out of Minnesota, he didn’t get accommodated on draft weekend. The Vikings have maintained their position that they expect Peterson to show up – whether it’s at minicamp or training camp.

There hasn’t been a lot of public dialogue from either side since the draft. Perhaps behind the scenes talks are going on. But the rest of us won’t know until Peterson shows up (or makes it clear he isn’t showing up) at practices that are required by his contract.

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