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Vikings Saying All The Right Things About Peterson... Do They Mean It?
While fantasy football owners in re-draft leagues have plenty of time to figure out their plan for handling Adrian Peterson this summer, Dynasty and keeper owners might not have that luxury. Fortunately, we appear to be gaining at least some clarity on his status with the Vikings going forward. And even if that resolution is slow to come, we'll certainly know more about his NFL future soon.

Still, as's Ben Goessling framed it, "The Minnesota Vikings' efforts to clear the way for Peterson's return appear to be approaching full speed."

"I think our organization and individuals in our organization from (owner and chairman) Zygi Wilf to Mark Wilf to [head coach Mike Zimmer] to (general manager) Rick Spielman, all have made it very clear that they all would welcome Adrian back once he gets all the open items resolved with the league, and I feel the exact same way," Kevin Warren, the team's chief operating officer said Thursday.'s Conor Orr notes that Peterson has a laundry list of requirements to meet in order to achieve reinstatement from the commissioner. The NFL suspended Peterson on Nov. 18 stemming from a no contest plea on what the league called "an incident of abusive discipline" toward his 4-year-old son. Peterson is scheduled to be reinstated April 15. The NFL Players Association filed a suit intent on getting Peterson back in the league sooner.

Mark Wilf, co-owner and president of the Vikings, said much the same Wednesday.

"Adrian has done a lot of good in this community," Wilf said. "He's done a lot for us on the football field as well, and, of course, he's a Minnesota Viking and we'd love to have him back."

These comments are an extension of the team's season-ending news conferences with Zimmer and Spielman, both of whom supported a return recently.

Of course, they know selling Peterson's on-field abilities is not the hard part.

Indeed, Zimmer lent further credence to that notion when he told 103.3 FM ESPN in Dallas that Peterson has support from the "top of the organization [on] down."

"He's been good in the locker room. He's done everything we've asked him to do," Zimmer said Thursday. "I think from the top of the organization [on] down, we all want Adrian back. We know what he brings to our offense and to our football team and really to Minneapolis and the Twin cities."

Peterson told Goessling in December that he had thought about playing for other teams during his time on the commissioner's exempt list, but added he felt supported by teammates and coaches, and that he had watched all of the Vikings' games during his time away from the team, imagining how he'd fit in the offense.

"Through this process, I've thought about playing other places, with everything that's been floating around the organization," Peterson said. "But I keep a level mind. The people that are doubting me are people that are, in the big scheme of things, not relevant. I'm able to look at the organization as a whole and see [it] for what it is. There are friends, teammates -- people I've been around for years. I think about what I would be leaving behind, but it's a business as well."

After his hearing Friday, Peterson said he would "of course" want to return to the Vikings.

All of which prompted Minneapolis Star-Tribune staffer to Chip Scoggins suggest, "A cynic might question whether their company line represents a strategic ploy designed to enhance Peterson’s trade value if the team does intend to move on."

If accepted at face value, Scoggins conceded, the Vikings sound convincing in expressing their desire to welcome Peterson back.

But at what price? That part remains unsaid.

Will they really want to keep Peterson at his $15.4 million cap number in 2015?

While the Vikings can afford to pay that (thanks in large part to the fact their starting QB, Teddy Bridgewater is playing on his rookie contract), Scoggins added: "His salary combined with his age, position and legal case screams pay cut. His cap number ranks first among NFL running backs by a wide margin."

Remember: Peterson told Goessling in December that he didn't think he should have to take a pay cut in 2015, adding, "I see me being a better player than I was [in 2014]."

I suspect that same thought is running through the minds of fantasy owners who already have Peterson on Dynasty and keeper league rosters. The issue for those in keeper leagues is obvious: They're hoping for resolution on his NFL future before they have to make the decision on whether or not to keep him. Some in Dynasty leagues might have deadlines to make decisions, but should have more flexibility.

Assuming that's the case, it's very difficult to relinquish his rights. Whether he's playing for Minnesota or somebody else.