The most over-hyped story in the NFL offseason has been the drama whipped up by Ben Dogra, Adrian Peterson’s agent. It surpasses the hyperventilation surrounding Chip Kelly trading up to the 2nd pick to draft Marcus Mariota. While it’s possible that one of those trades happens, the chances that both things happen are about as likely as Kate Upton proposing to me.

I get it that Dogra is representing his client. That’s his first responsibility. Rick Spielman’s first responsibility is to build a championship football team in Minneapolis. The best way to do that is to give Teddy Bridgewater a bunch of weapons who can score from any place on the field. Putting Adrian behind Teddy is a major step in that direction. Putting a rejuvenated Mike Wallace on the outside is another positive step in that direction.

That isn’t to say trading Adrian is foolish. It’s saying that it’s foolish unless Spielman gets a king’s ransom for Peterson. Earlier this week, former Colts GM Bill Polian quantified what a king’s ransom would be if he were the GM. When asked what it’d take, Polian abruptly said “multiple number ones”, as in more than 1 first round pick. I totally agree. I don’t think it’s likely that there’s a team out there willing to pull the trigger on that type of trade but that’s the starting point for the Vikings.

If I’m Rick Spielman, I wouldn’t trade the best running back in the game for a second- or third-round pick. The other GM would hear me start laughing if he offered that type of compensation. I’d point out that, despite Dogra’s daily protestations, Peterson is still under contract for 3 more years.

Frankly, I’d tell Dogra that there isn’t a trade market out there and that his client’s only option for playing this year are with the Vikings. Honestly, I’m certain that Dogra knows this. There just aren’t many teams that can fit Peterson’s $15.4 million cap hit into their budget and pay the Vikings enough in talent and/or draft picks.

The Cowboys can’t afford that capwise, especially after signing Greg Hardy to rush the passer. They’d have to give up their first round pick this year plus either Zack Martin or the Cowboys’ 2nd round pick. There’s no way the Cowboys would do that.

The Cardinals have the flexibility capwise but they’d have to give up the 24th pick in the draft plus Tyrann Mathieu and a second day pick to get Peterson.

The bottom line is simple. The Vikings hold all the cards in this. Either Adrian plays for the Vikings or he retires. Considering the fact that Adrian can make $40,000,000 over the next 3 years, I just don’t see Peterson walking away from that payday.

The other factor that hasn’t been talked about by the media is the fact that Adrian watched Teddy last year. He was impressed with Teddy. Why wouldn’t he want to play for a team that’s on the verge of becoming a legitimate contender in the NFC North? That doesn’t mean I think the Vikings would win the Division this year if Adrian returns. I’ll say, though, that they’d have a pretty strong shot at it their first year in the dome.

4 Responses to “Dogra, Peterson & the Vikings”

  • walter hanson says:

    Gary:

    I think the fuss with Peterson’s agent is that Peterson is out of guarenteed money. Thus if he gets a career ending injury or gets resuspended the Vikings have a way not to have to pay him. I think he has been making the fuss to help get AP more guarentee money.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Gary Gross says:

    Walter, that’s entirely possible.

  • Chad Q says:

    Speilman and the Queens will figure out a way to screw up any trade. They hold the cards but thinking he is worth any kind of ransom is ridiculous. AP is a good back but not great and good backs don’t cost that much. The Queens need a competent QB (which they may have, jury is still out) to be able to spread the defense instead of them just being able to key on one guy.
    Anyway, Dogra is just stirring a pot his moron of a client got himself into and still can’t figure out how he got there.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Chad, I’ll respectfully disagree on 2 points.

    First, AP isn’t just a good back. He’s a dominant RB. I’ve been watching football since 1968. AP’s the best runner I’ve watched, with only Walter Payton & Barry Sanders coming close.

    Second, Spielman is a great GM. Look at the talent he’s added to this team. The biggest miss he’s made in the draft was Ponder, followed by Patterson. After that, his drafts have been sterling.

    Last year, he drafted Bridgewater & Barr in the first round. Later, he picked Jerrick McKinnon in the third, Antone Exum, a special teams contributor, in the sixth and Jabari Price and Shamar Stephen, good rotation players, in the 7th.

    The year before that, he got Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes, 2 Pro Bowl-quality players in the first round, Gerald Hodges, a starting LB, in the fourth, and Michael Mauti, a special teams contributor, in the seventh.

    The year before that, Spielman picked Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith in the first round, Jarius Wright and Rhett Ellison in the fourth round, Blair Walsh, a Pro Bowl kicker, in the sixth round and Audie Cole, a contributing LB, in the seventh.

    If we keep AP, then I’ll predict that the Vikings will win the NFC North in their first year in their new stadium.

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