Minnesota Vikings decline option year on Adrian Peterson’s contract

The Minnesota Vikings officially will not be picking up the 2017 option year on Adrian Peterson’s contract, making him a free agent if they can’t reach a renegotiated deal with him before the start of free agency late next week.

The Minnesota Vikings announced what has long been anticipated – they will not be exercising the 2017 option year on running back Adrian Peterson’s contract.

The 2017 season on Peterson’s contract called for an $18 million salary-cap hit and a $6 million bonus due at the start of free agency on March 9.

“Adrian is an important part of the Minnesota Vikings organization,” General Manager Rick Spielman said in a release announcing the move late Tuesday morning. “We will continue to have conversations with his representatives and leave our future options open while determining what is best for both parties moving forward.”

Vikings coaches and scouts are heading to the NFL Scouting Combine this week and will meet with the agent for all of their pending free agents this week.

“We always will keep the door open on all of our players,” Spielman said last week. “But in my mind, regardless of whether Adrian is here or not here next year because of whatever happens, he will always be a Minnesota Viking. If he’s fortunate enough to go into the Hall of Fame and fortunate enough to go in the Ring of Honor, in my mind he’s a Minnesota Viking.”

In a statement to ESPN, Peterson left the door open for a return to the Vikings but also said he will explore his options in free agency:

"It’s been a great 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings. They know what I bring to the organization as a player, with my work ethic and dedication. I spoke with Rick Spielman this past weekend. The door is still open to find some common ground. I understand addressing the offensive line is one of their main priorities this offseason. In the meantime, I will explore my other options and see what path God leads me on. My main goal remains the same: to win a Super Bowl championship with a great team, which I also believe we have in Minnesota." 

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