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Tom Johnson: Adrian Peterson has chip on his shoulder

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Whether or not it happens in Minnesota, Adrian Peterson is determined to make a point when he finally returns to the field.

After working out with the star running back in Houston, Vikings teammate Tom Johnson emphasized Sunday that Peterson is in top shape and "has something to prove."

"I'd say he's one of the strongest guys pound for pound I've seen," Johnson told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "You see him put 500 pounds on the squat and just do it like it ain't nothing. ... He looks like he's a little more lean. You can tell that he's been doing a lot of workouts. ... He looks like he's been grinding the whole time (since last September), so he looks a little lean, still ripped up, but he's always been that."

Peterson's future with the Vikings rests on murky soil. The NFL suspended the six-time Pro Bowl running back on Nov. 18 stemming from a no contest plea on what the league called "an incident of abusive discipline" toward his 4-year-old son. With Peterson tucked away on the Commissioner's Exempt List, Minnesota can release, trade, or restructure his contract. Johnson would opt for none of the above.

"He looks like he's hungry," Johnson said. "I can tell you that from the workouts that we've been going on. I think he has something to prove. ... I think he definitely has a chip on his shoulder and he's been taking it out on the weights."

Peterson's fate remains a juicy offseason mystery. If Minnesota moves him, teams like the Cardinals and Cowboys loom as logical fits for A.P., who would rock the NFC power structure by landing with either club.

Johnson is no fool, though, saying: "I would definitely prefer him being on our team than on an opposing team."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast analyzes early free agency news, including Ndamukong Suh to Miami, Devin McCourty's new deal and much more. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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