No. 7 pick Peterson signs with Vikings after 3-day holdout

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) -Adrian Peterson already is the biggest star on the Minnesota Vikings offense.

So it's no wonder that the team can't wait to see him finally take the field at training camp on Monday. The No. 7 overall draft pick ended his brief three-day holdout on Sunday when he signed a five-year, $40.5 million contract with $17 million in guaranteed money.

"It's about time," Taylor said Sunday with a chuckle after the Vikings wrapped up their fifth training camp practice without his new backfield mate. "We need him out here so we can groove our offense even better with him coming back. So I'm just looking forward to him taking the field."

He's not the only one. After an offseason in which the team made few splashes in free agency to improve an anemic offense, it's no secret the Vikings will be relying heavily upon their flashy rookie to make an immediate impact.

Last year's offense set franchise lows for first downs and touchdown passes, while opposing defenses stacked the box to try to stop Taylor.

Now Taylor, who rushed for 1,214 yards last season but wore down late in the year as he approached 300 carries, has some help in what could be one of the league's best backfield tandems.

At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Peterson has a rare combination of size and speed. He rushed for 4,045 yards in three years at Oklahoma despite missing seven games last season with collarbone and ankle injuries. He was also slowed by injuries for much of his sophomore season.

"I'm expecting him to be a big part of the offense," quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. "He's a good changeup with Chester and the other guys. He's going to help us out a lot."

Coach Brad Childress has said the Vikings will use Peterson and Taylor in the backfield at the same time in addition to splitting their carries to them fresh.

Peterson was expected to arrive on the campus of Minnesota State, Mankato late Sunday night, and running backs coach Eric Bieniemy planned to meet with him to get him up to speed and ready for his first NFL practice.

"I had to kind of keep pumping EB up here," Childress joked about Bieniemy's eagerness to work with Peterson. "I've been telling him lies here for the last couple of days just to kind of keep him going, so I'm able to follow through. He'll put (Peterson) through the paces I'm sure late and he'll be out with us here tomorrow morning."

The Vikings have conducted extensive medical testing on Peterson's collarbone and determined this spring that he did not need surgery. Childress and team doctors have said all along that he would be ready for full contact by training camp, and now Peterson will get the chance to show it.

While agent Ben Dogra was negotiating with the Vikings, Peterson stayed in Oklahoma and worked out on the Sooners' campus in Norman.

Childress maintained throughout the negotiations that it was important for Peterson to get as many repetitions in training camp as possible. He should have little catching up to do once he arrives.

Peterson participated in all the team's organized team activities earlier this summer, getting a chance to digest some of the playbook in preparation for training camp.

Veterans Artose Pinner and Mewelde Moore have been filling in for him alongside Taylor for the first three days in practice, but both will take a lesser role when Peterson gets up to speed.

"He's a smart kid and he's a very bright young man, so hopefully he can have a lot of recall and pick up right where he left off in the spring," fullback Tony Richardson said. "The more playmakers you have, the more skill guys you have, the better off you're going to be."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.