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Eight things you need to know from Tuesday's OTAs

Mike Zimmer said last week that Adrian Peterson had two choices: Play for the Vikings in 2015 or don't play at all.

Such is the game of leverage, in which Zimmer and the Vikes had plenty and Peterson has just about none. After months of posturing, leaks and tweets, Peterson arrived at Vikings headquarters on Tuesday morning ready to move on.

It's a best-case scenario for the Vikings, who can move forward without a gigantic distraction hanging over the franchise like a angry thunder cloud. The best player in franchise history is ready to play football again.

"There's not a prettier sight than when he's got the ball in his hands," said Zimmer, who should be praised for how he handled a very sensitive situation.

Peterson followed on the podium and also comported himself well. He accepted blame for his disappearance from the lineup last season and explained why he struggled with the decision to return to the Vikings. Now he can get back to being the baddest running back on the planet.

There's no underplaying how much a healthy and motivated Adrian Peterson can mean to this team. Teddy Bridgewater was playing like a 10-year starter by the end of his rookie season, doing it all without A.P., who should have been his security blanket as the quarterback navigated through his first season.

Better late than never. Bridgewater gets Peterson now, and the two have the potential to anchor a legitimate sleeper team in the NFC.

Here's what else we learned in Tuesday's OTAs:

  1. Sam Bradford took the next step forward in his recovery from a second ACL reconstruction surgery, splitting first-team reps with Mark Sanchez in 7-on-7 drills. It marked Bradford's first competitive work in OTAs. Bradford's still got a long way to go, but time remains on his side.
  1. Browns coach Mike Pettine took exception to a report that Cleveland appears to have moved on from Johnny Manziel from a schematic standpoint. "It doesn't thrill me," Pettine said of the report. "I don't pay much attention to what's going on outside of the building, but when it potentially can drive a spike between the staff and the team, I have issues with it."
  1. Speaking of former college legends struggling to make it at the next level, Tim Tebow isn't lighting up Eagles OTAs according to one reporter. "Tim Tebow has a ways to go," CSN Philly's Geoff Mosher told *PFT Live*. "Not very accurate today. I think I'm being kind." This is why "Player X working with QB guru" remains one of our offseason tropes to view with suspicion.
  1. C.J. Anderson showed up at Broncos OTAs looking like a new man. The breakout running back reported at 221 pounds, down from 243 this time a year ago. "I am taking this to the next level," Anderson said, via The Denver Post.
  1. Anderson is looking fit and ready, but Montee Ball doesn't expect to be forgotten on the Denver depth chart. Ball, the former second-round pick who was expected to lead the backfield charge in 2014, views himself as a "1B" option to Anderson's "1A".
  1. Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix showed much promise in his rookie season, and teammate Micah Hyde expects even more in 2015. "From Year 1 to Year 2, he's going to make a huge jump," Hyde said, via the Press Gazette. Clinton-Dix already earned our eternal respect with his Key & Peele cameo in January.
  1. There's reason for optimism for that offense in Miami. Here's Dolphins linebacker Jelani Jenkins on wide receiver DeVante Parker, the team's first-round pick: "He's an animal," Jenkins said, via the Miami Herald. "He goes and gets the ball wherever it is. He's aggressive. He knows how to use his body. I'm really impressed with him."
  1. The Cardinals used plenty of no-huddle on Tuesday, a sign of things to come. "We can play real fast right now," coach Bruce Arians said. "I like the tempo of it. It's gone really well the whole time we've been out here, but this is the first time we've actually practiced it against the defense."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the latest news including Cam Newton's massive contract extension and the return of Adrian Peterson. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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