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Adrian Peterson, Vikings agree to restructure contract

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On the heels of a rocky offseason, the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson have re-committed to a long-term partnership.

The team announced Tuesday that the two sides have "mutually agreed" to restructure the final three years of Peterson's contract.

"This agreement is a win for both Adrian and the Vikings and is a positive step toward Adrian finishing his career as a Minnesota Viking," general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement released by the team. "As we have consistently said, Adrian is a valuable part of the Vikings organization and we look forward to his return to the field."

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"I appreciate the Vikings for working together on this restructured contract, which provides additional security for me but also allows opportunities for me to further prove my value to the team and within the NFL," Peterson said. "It was important for me to continue my career in Minnesota, and I cannot wait to get on the field in front of Vikings fans again."

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports Peterson's new deal is worth $44 million over three years, per a source who has seen the contract.

Rapoport adds that Peterson's 2015 salary of $13 million is fully guaranteed. The 2016 salary of $13 million is guaranteed only if the Vikings exercise a $5 million roster bonus on the third day of the league year. The deal will force the team's hand in 2017 with a bloated $18 million figure that includes an $11.75 base salary in addition to a $6 million roster bonus.

Prior to the restructured deal, the three-time All Pro was due base salaries of $12.75 million, $14.75 million and $16.75 million over the next three years.

Even if Peterson remains the best in the game at age 30, the Vikings are still paying an exorbitant rate.

Rapoport reported in February that Peterson believes he lost close to $10 million between endorsements and salary last season. When he finally relented and re-joined Vikings offseason workouts in early June, Peterson emphasized a desire to secure his future with the organization.

The new contract restructure provides him with the opportunity to do just that, while recouping a portion of the money lost in 2014.

Peterson was roundly criticized for attempting to squeeze more guaranteed money out of the Vikings after his temporary banishment from the league last season.

His leverage all along was his standing as the greatest running back of his generation.

Hall of Famers Jim Brown (104.3) and Barry Sanders (99.8) are the only running backs in NFL history to average more rushing yards per game than Peterson's 98.0. Sporting a massive chip on his shoulder, Peterson has suggested that the best is yet to come.

Tuesday's deal is further illustration that talent is the trump card in professional sports.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the eight most intriguing training camp battles heading into the season.

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