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What should the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson in 2015?
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What's the best realistic outcome for the Vikings in dealing with Adrian Peterson in 2015?
Pay him in full as per his current contract
13%
 13%  [ 5 ]
Renegotiate him to $8-10M per year for 3 years, cut him if he won't agree
69%
 69%  [ 25 ]
Renegotiate him to $5-7M per year for 3 years, cut him if he won't agree
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Trade him for a 1st round pick
8%
 8%  [ 3 ]
Trade him for a 2nd round pick
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Trade him for a 3rd-4th round pick
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Trade him for a 5th-7th round pick
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Release him outright
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 36

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Krauser


Joined: 20 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:35 am    Post subject: What should the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson in 2015? Reply with quote

NOTE: This is not a thread for discussing what has already happened (charges, controversy, legal outcome, team and league handling of the situation, etc), nor what is actually happening (by multiple reports, the situation is up in the air). This thread is intended to bring out a discussion about what the best realistic outcome of Peterson's situation is for the Vikings. The main questions are about the direction of the team, the expected future performance of Peterson, and the value that has for the Vikings.

...

Adrian Peterson will be 30 in March:


Here are his career stats:


CCNorseman on Daily Norseman wrote two articles recently arguing that Peterson is already statistically in decline:
http://www.dailynorseman.com/2015/1/2/7479849/the-case-against-keeping-adrian-peterson
http://www.dailynorseman.com/2015/1/5/7494129/is-adrian-peterson-really-in-decline

I pushed back against that idea in comments to those articles. One of the other DN commenters went on to debunk that analysis in a couple of full length articles on VT:
http://vikingsterritory.com/2015/analysis/guest-post-evaluating-adrian-petersons-likelihood-of-decline-part-one
http://vikingsterritory.com/2015/analysis/guest-post-evaluating-adrian-petersons-likelihood-of-decline-part-two

...

Even if Peterson hasn't lost a step already, the historical evidence is overwhelming that RBs tend to slow down by age 30 or very soon after. The best recent treatment I've seen of that data is this article from Over the Cap: http://overthecap.com/declining-rb-production-nfl-contract-modeling/

They take a weighted baseline of production from RBs in their age 25-27 years and project this pattern of decline starting at age 28, though they do point out the few notable exceptions:



Here's how that projection would apply to Adrian Peterson:



...

Now, here are the numbers for Peterson's current contract:


And here are the top 20 current RB contracts for 2015:

Note that it was reported this morning that the Seahawks are offering Marshawn Lynch $10M+ per year for a long-term extension.

...

Here is what the Vikings rushing production looked like in 2014:


RB production was limited -- they only had two games with a 100 yard rusher (both McKinnon) and a third where RBs combined for 100 yards. Overall rushing production was respectable thanks to WR runs, QB scrambles and Sendejo's run on the punt fake in Chicago.

...

As I see it, there are four main options for the Vikings in dealing with Peterson's situation in 2015. I want to discuss them in terms of their impact on the football team:

1. Keep Peterson under the terms of his 2015 contract.

He is already under contract. They have the cap space to pay him in full this year even without cutting other contracts (Greenway, Johnson, Felton) or renegotiating other veterans (maybe Jennings). If they make some moves on other players, they would even have enough cap space to sign a free agent or two while still paying Peterson in full.

They do not currently have an established RB1. Adding Peterson as RB1 and keeping McKinnon and Asiata for depth and as role players would upgrade the position without expending any additional resources.

Paying Peterson in full for 2015 would not commit any resources to 2016 and beyond (as any renegotiation likely would bring in more guaranteed money over a longer term). It would be easier to cut him in 2016 if he was paid in full in 2015.

2. Renegotiate Peterson to a lower yearly cap hit, with more guaranteed money and term

This would likely take the form of $8-10M per year for ~3 years, with 2015 guaranteed in full and some additional guaranteed money in 2016. Some have argued that Peterson is only worth $5-7M per year, based on his expected performance and the value of the RB position.

Renegotiating him would open up additional cap space in 2015 compared to option #1. It would however take up cap space in 2016 and potentially beyond that, depending on the terms of the deal. That may or may not be OK, depending on whether you think Peterson will still play at a high level for more than another year, and depending on how far you expect the Vikings to go in the next couple of years.

Any attempt to renegotiate would need to be backed up by an intention to release Peterson if he does not agree to the new terms (or else why would he agree to take a pay cut?). So a statement that the Vikings should renegotiate him to $7M a year is necessarily also a threat to cut him if he refuses to accept those terms -- meaning that that price is his maximum value to the team this year and releasing him is a better outcome than paying him more than that.

3. Trade Peterson

Any trade would likely be contingent on Peterson agreeing to renegotiate a new contract with his new team (which he might be willing to do, even if he wouldn't renegotiate without a trade, if he doesn't want to play for the Vikings, or in Minnesota, anymore).

It's been reported that Peterson has told Jerry Jones that he'd like to play for the Cowboys, in his native Texas. Dallas is close to the cap but have been willing to push cap hits into the future in order to pay their stars. They may also feel that their window with Tony Romo (age 34 with a bad back) is closing soon.

Any trade would likely be for a draft pick or picks, player for player trades are almost unheard of in recent years. It's hard to know what trade value Peterson would have at this point.

4. Release Peterson

Options #2 and #3 are both backed by the threat of outright release. If a trade isn't found, if he's unwilling to negotiate, Peterson would be cut.

...

Replacing Peterson:

Here's an article analyzing the 2015 free agent RB class: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/adrian-peterson-2015-running-back-free-agent-class/

It makes the point that just about every free agent RB contract signed in the last few years has been disappointing.

The draft may be the better option. By all accounts, this is an unusually deep and impressive class for RBs. Here is the CBS top 20:



...

So, after all that, what's the best realistic outcome for the Vikings in the Peterson situation?
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Heimdallr


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted for Option #2 (Renegotiate him to $8-10M per year for 3 years).

I'm not worried about Peterson slowing down. He is built like a horse, and having a full season of rest will do nothing but help him. I think the EASILY has 3 more elite/great seasons left in him. He has been the identity of this franchise since he was drafted, and I want to see him retire as a Viking without having played for anyone else.

I think the Vikings do have leverage to renegotiate to bring down his salary, and I think working that into a 3-year extension is the perfect move. Getting him down to ~$10M would be perfectly fine, and his salary would be coming off the books right when we need to sign Bridgewater.

I like McKinnon, and think that an offense can function without a great RB, but having a guy like Peterson completely changes an offense and how a defense prepares. I would LOVE to see what Peterson and Bridgewater can do together, and what Norv can do with Peterson. Remember how otherworldly LT was in SD with Norv? I would expect something similar.

Zimmer's defense + Bridgewater + Peterson would make the Vikings a legitimately scary team.

Releasing him outright just isn't going to happen, and I would rather pay him his full salary than trade him for anything less than a top-15 pick. He is worth more to the Vikings than any other franchise (which is why I don't see him being traded), and he is worth more to the Vikings than $15M, which is why I don't see him being cut.
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BWG VIKE


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ +1
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Krauser


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's my preferred outcome too, but I'd rather keep him for full price in 2015 (which still leaves open the option of a future renegotiation) than release him.

Here's one of my comments from the DN thread, on Peterson's potential value to this team:

...

If you’re looking at making the whole team better, there are a couple of goals to keep in mind:

1. Have NFL level talent throughout the roster. The Vikings are there right now. A couple of the old guys (Greenway and sadly now Robison) have declined to the point that they might not be worth rostering next year, but in general the entire team belongs in the league, and there are even depth players and redshirted rookies waiting in the wings. There are positions that should be upgraded (LG, MLB and probably SS) but there aren’t a lot of outright holes comparable to the Marvin Mitchells, Devin Aromashodus and Mistral Raymonds of old.

2. Have superior talent in positions that make a difference between winning and losing. This is where the Vikings lost out this year: they had some very good players, including some guys who will likely be difference makers in the years ahead (Bridgewater, Barr, Floyd, Rhodes), but not many who were game changers (Smith, Griffen, Patterson in that one game). For most of the year they played pretty well as a team, but they lacked the firepower to beat up weaker teams and seriously threaten stronger ones. They were mediocre. Some of that will improve with time and development, but there is a need to increase the team’s ceiling.

How does Adrian Peterson fit in with that goal?

Conventional wisdom devalues the running game in the modern NFL, but there are some good examples of teams built around a power RB (Seahawks) or where a dominant passing attack is supplemented and balanced by power running (Packers, Cowboys), to the benefit of the team as a whole. You could ask fans in Seattle, Green Bay and Dallas, whether they wouldn’t mind swapping their current RB situation with the Vikings players from this year — if you honestly think there’s no major difference, their reactions may convince you otherwise.

It’s pretty obvious that Norv Turner wants the Vikings offense to be dominant in the run game. Even with Asiata as the only real option, he continued to call a lot of 1st down run plays and mostly featured the run in the red zone. Some of that was probably in an effort to protect his QB, but I think even those of us who are very optimistic about Bridgewater (I am) can agree that he’ll do better if he can play within a balanced offense against defenses that have to respect the run, instead of trying to do it all with his arm. He’s going to be a very good to great QB, but he’s not Andrew Luck or the young Peyton Manning, high volume passers who carry their teams on their back.

Reasonable people can disagree, but I think the suggestions from the cut-Peterson crowd — spend the money in free agency! on a guard! and a safety! — are pretty weak by comparison. Last year at this time, the same crowd wanted to renegotiate everything in order to sign Jon Asamoah, Jairus Byrd and Alterraun Verner. How are those guys working out? Any of them elite talents who spurred their teams to new heights in 2014?

It’s easy enough to show that Peterson is unlikely to produce much beyond 2016 or 17, because of age and usage (though taking a year’s sabbatical might do something to prolong that curve?). But the Vikings have a window to win a Super Bowl in the next 2-3 years, while Bridgewater’s on his rookie deal and most/all of the 7 first rounders aren’t getting paid yet.

Keeping Adrian Peterson on a deal that allows the team some flexibility in the short term, and doesn’t create a cap hangover whenever he actually does stop producing makes sense. Abandoning a still valuable asset for no good reason, and with no clear plan to replace that value in the window where we’re most likely going to need it, is a far worse idea, as far as I can tell.
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gopherwrestler


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there was a way to pay him less and maybe get his full salary if he plays up to expectations I would go with that option. I honestly wouldn't mind paying him the full salary just to keep him.

Peterson is worth that money or not. He helps the team all over the field. Most teams, when he gets going, have to put 8 men in the box just to slow him down, which will help Teddy a bit, expecially throwing over the top.

Having him in the backfield helps out Patterson. When Peterson is hot, it opens up the field so much. helps Patterson get into more space. I believe a big part for Patterson would be getting his screen game going. If he can make one guy miss and there is 8 in the box that's one less deep defender to help stop Patterson. Peterson is a huge weapon.

Slowing the game down, we all like Teddy when he can just go, two minute teddy, but being able to get the first downs later in the game when we actually have the lead is huge. Nobody is better at getting first downs then AP. Slowing down the game keeps the defense fresh and off the field. Control the T.O.P. is a big deal, with him there he can help.

I think keeping Peterson is a pretty big deal for the Vikings. Maybe going to put some bad criticism on the team for the beginning of the season, but the plus sides of this weigh out the bad. Opens room to deal with other players in F/A and the 2015 draft.

I'm on TEAM KEEP AP.
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BWG VIKE


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am on board with that as well Krauser, there is not a free agent on the market that I desperately want on this team so I don't see a need to free up money this season. Give him the money this year when we don't need it, if we show signs of becoming a Super Bowl threat I can easily see Peterson re working his contract then to help the team the same way Brady does.
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vike daddy


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my preferences in order would be:

Arrow renegotiate salary down but make all efforts to keep him
Arrow pay him full salary
Arrow trade for high compensation, not orange peanuts


i don't even consider cutting him outright an option.
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CriminalMind


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Option #1

-Coupled with Johnson & Greenway & Felton cut still allows the Vikings to sign 1 big Free Agent (at a high need - OG, LB, CB).

-Its likely the "extra" money saved, won't be spent on impact players (then what is already available to be spent on impact players).

-Top RB production & Top QB production for a season (see how the impact a top RB can be on Teddy, goes towards future Draft implications based on established history on field).

-Can be cut next year, with no cap implications

*We're spending peanuts on QB, and hopefully getting top 10 QB production, if we sign 1 key free agents to plug holes, and hit on an impact 1st round pick to plug another hole & AP plays at a high level, I think we move ahead of the Lions, challenge GB for the Crown and take a Playoff Spot. I agree we can be a SB contender within 1-3 years.
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VikesGuy07


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Bridgewater takes the step we think he can take, the Vikings are a borderline playoff team just based on this past year's roster – which is solid and dotted with playmakers, but has some holes.

If the team keeps Peterson, that's 1) Adding another playmaker and 2) Filling the starting RB hole.

Add Peterson, a quality LB, a #2 CB and a starting safety, and even with the OL problems that's a scary good team. Especially when you factor in expected Teddy growth, and the expected defensive growth due to Zimmer's tutelage.

I know I'm sort of in the minority, but I just don't see WR as that big of an issue. Jennings-Johnson-Wright-CP (plus Rudolph) is more than adequate for a quality playoff team.

The Vikings aren't in cap he*l. If they can restructure Adrian, great. If not, keep him for this season at his current salary and see how he holds up in 2015.
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vike daddy


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sketchy reports are coming out that Marshawn Lynch has been offered $10 mil a year in a a new contract. for what that's worth to the discussion.
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Krauser


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vike daddy wrote:
my preferences in order would be:

Arrow renegotiate salary down but make all efforts to keep him
Arrow pay him full salary
Arrow trade for high compensation, not orange peanuts


i don't even consider cutting him outright an option.


That's roughly my list too.

I'd consider trading him an option as long as it was for a 1st or 2nd round pick. Rookie RBs can be expected to make an impact right away, and a pick in the top 50-60 could be spent on a guy who'll be a long-term starter (I doubt Peterson plays well beyond 2016 or maybe '17).

Given the uncertainty about how long he can perform at a high level, and the option of getting an Eddie Lacy level (very good even if not elite) starting RB who'd make $2-3M a year for 4 years, I'd make that trade every time.

But realistically, I don't think even Spielman will be capable of generating that kind of return in a trade right now. And I wouldn't trade Peterson for peanuts, orange or whatever color. I'd rather keep the asset, see how 2015 plays out at whatever salary level can be mutually agreed on, and figure it out from there.
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Krauser


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vike daddy wrote:
sketchy reports are coming out that Marshawn Lynch has been offered $10 mil a year in a a new contract. for what that's worth to the discussion.


That's reported by Ian Rapoport, he's not sketchy.

There are a few articles saying that the Seahawks value the run game higher than most teams, that they say their analytics show that rushing yards are worth more than passing yards in terms of their ability to control a game. IIRC they consider a ~30% bonus in weighting the value vs passing yards.

Of course it's possible to have a great running game without an expensive or highly drafted RB. Just recently, the Broncos with CJ Anderson and the Patriots with Blount (when they bother to run him) have been very effective.

...

I think there's a bigger point to be made about "overpaying" potential difference makers. There's almost always an example of a cheaper option who's just about as productive as a veteran being paid on a high-end extension or free agent contract -- especially once you include rookies locked in at cheap prices by the CBA, and veterans on budget contracts having one last kick at the can late in their careers.

But I think the "Moneyball" idea of chasing efficiency with every contract can be misguided. Unlike baseball, NFL teams are on a level playing field, with a salary cap and a salary floor, and there are only a finite number of players on the roster and on the field at one time. The goal has to be to win games, and at some point, choosing 80-90% of the production for less than half the price (by replacing an expensive vet with the budget alternative) is actually harmful to that goal.

Obviously you want to pick your spots, and the contracts have to be flexible enough that you can move on if and when production doesn't match the cap hit, but I think most fans are if anything too sensitive to price when it comes to veteran contracts.

At the same time, they're not sensitive enough to term: paying $5-6M a year to a free agent isn't a big deal in any given year, except when that carries with it the requirement to offer a 4 or 5 year deal with guaranteed money extending into year 3 and beyond.

I also think that fans underestimate the value of draft picks. Saying we should move on from Peterson but replace him with a first round (or even second round) pick is penny wise but pound foolish. First round picks are way more valuable than a single year of a $15M cap hit, because they shape the roster for multiple years, and promise (hopefully) a long-term extension down the road.

Peterson at $15M, a 6th-7th round RB to throw into the mix for development, and a 1st round pick used on a CB, WR, etc is actually "cheaper" than cutting Peterson, investing $15M in 2 free agents who'll need 5 year deals to sign (say, Boling and McCourty), and spending the first round pick on a new RB. The first option gives tons of flexibility and invests the most important resource (the draft pick) in the area of biggest need while preserving flexibility (rookie contract), while the second breaks the pattern of "draft and develop" and requires the free agents to be long-term difference makers, since they'll be paid that way.

Part of the disconnect with the discussion is that the long-term effects of the new CBA are still working their way through rosters, especially when coupled with the steadily rising salary cap. Rookie contracts have become such a ridiculous bargain (and the Vikings have one of the biggest list of contributors on rookie contracts in the league right now) that more or less every team that hasn't mismanaged its cap with ballooning future contracts (hello Cowboys, hello Saints) has more than enough flexibility to retain anyone they want to retain while still competing for at least one targeted free agent acquisition.

I'm predicting that free agency will see another big step up in veteran contract prices, which will inflate to the point that recent deals that produced sticker shock (Rudolph got $7M?!, Griffen got $9M?!) seem tame by comparison.
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twslhs20


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trade him for a second. Don't need the distraction.
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SteelKing728


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The worst move we can make moving forward is outright releasing him. It doesn't make much sense for any side here.

I hope we can renegotiate his deal to somewhere around 8-10Mil, using his past transgressions as leverage on our part. I think Adrian can agree to that, even if he believes he'll keep getting better with age. Even if Peterson is declining, 5-7Mil seems too little for him.

I can't imagine there will be a great trade market for him either. Legal troubles and his age will scare off most teams, and most of the top teams in the league that have a chance to win a championship are set at RB (Using this year's playoff teams, the only ones that are not set are Indianapolis and Detroit, with Dallas, Baltimore and Seattle under going contract talks with their RBs this season). Adrian Peterson has stated multiple times that his ultimate goal is the team goal: To win a championship, and right now he's going to have a hard time finding his way onto a championship caliber team.

I think Peterson's best bet is to come back to Minnesota on a smaller deal, repair his image, and be another playmaker for this team. Minnesota is up and coming again, so he should be looking at least at a playoff berth either this year or next.
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted for this option: "Renegotiate him to $8-10M per year for 3 years, cut him if he won't agree."

However, if he didnt agree to a reduced contract I would likely keep him.
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