With Peterson, Yards Equal Dollars

Besides being a competitive person, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has another reason to shoot for his publicly stated goal of 2,000 yards this season – money. Peterson's contract is loaded with incentives – about $12.5 million over the first five years.

There has been a lot of talk about the comments made earlier this month by Adrian Peterson that he has set goals of 2,000 yards and Offensive Most Valuable Player this season. The reaction in the media has been mixed – some have said that the goal is admirable and achievable, while others have claimed that such a goal is preposterous and shouldn't have been made.

Many of them seem to be missing the point. Why would A.D. make such a prediction? It's in his contract.

When Peterson signed with the Vikings last summer, the announced number on his contract sounded incredibly high. But those numbers took into account a load of incentives – some of which he has already reached. Among them were rushing totals. If Peterson was to top 1,300 yards twice early in his career, there would be an escalator in the contract. He's halfway home. If he was named Offensive Rookie of the Year, there was a bonus. He reached that. If he was the Pro Bowl MVP, there was a bonus. He reached that.

Among the top-end bonuses would be a 2,000-yard rushing season, which could add $1 million a year to the remaining years of his contract. So why is Peterson saying he has set a goal of 2,000 yards? Because if he does, his payoff is even bigger. It isn't out of arrogance that he made the comment, which some have mistakenly attributed to him. It is out of incentive in his contract and, quite frankly, it's in his competitive nature.

Sometimes there are simple answers to what seem to be difficult questions.


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  • After taking part in the first three days of the OTAs, LB Rufus Alexander sat out Thursday's practice, but not due to a new injury. The decision is part of his rehab program and the Vikings don't want to take any chances of re-aggravating the injury.

  • Rookie wide receiver Darius Reynaud left Thursday's OTA will a leg injury. The severity of the injury was not immediately known.

  • From the "Who Was a Bigger Bust?" Department comes this: With Troy Williamson out of Minnesota and now playing with Jacksonville, fellow 2005 lottery pick Mike Williams is getting his last chance to stay in the NFL with Tennessee. After being a bust with the Lions and a washout in Oakland, Williams has dropped 30 pounds and is said to be looking solid in the Titans' offseason workouts.

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