The Minnesota Vikings placed star running back Adrian Peterson on injured reserve Friday, though both team and player are hopeful for a December return in the event of a playoff run. Surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus was deemed a success, but there's no definitive timetable for his return. It might take anywhere from three to six months for him to recover.
It's another major medical procedure for a 31-year-old running back, who is due a huge salary in 2017. All of that has cast some doubt over whether we'll see Peterson in a Vikings uniform again.
According to two sources with direct knowledge of the situation, Minnesota wants Peterson to retire as a valued member of the organization. It wouldn't be surprising to see Peterson in the same purple-trimmed uniform in 2017.
To make it happen, the two sides would need to reach an agreement on a renegotiated salary. As it currently stands, Peterson is due a $6 million roster bonus on the third day of the league year, along with $12 million more in base salary and workout bonuses. That will not happen.
Still, there is plenty of room for an altered agreement to keep the future Hall of Famer with one franchise for his entire career.
Though it remains to be seen how willing Peterson will be to drastically alter his salary, this deal was done in part to create a decision for 2017. This three-year, $42-million extension was done for a similar reason, lowering his base salary and cap to keep him with the team.
That was one example of Peterson and the team coming together to make a tough situation work. They could've walked away from each other, but didn't. The team and Peterson overcame another challenging scenario when he was suspended by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy in 2014.
Traditionally, the Vikings have been loyal to Peterson, and expect that to continue. The question does exist regarding what price the former MVP is willing to play for, but there is plenty of time to figure it out.