Vikings, Adrian Peterson have not discussed $18M option for 2017

13Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said the team has not talked to Adrian Peterson or his agent about the running back’s contract for the 2017 season, but Spielman said no matter what happens with Peterson in the next two weeks, “Adrian will always be a Minnesota Viking.”

Peterson, who turns 32 on March 21, has a team option for the 2017 season that would pay him $18 million and trigger a $6 million roster bonus if he’s on the roster by the third day of the league year. The Vikings have to make a decision on Peterson’s option by the start of the league year on March 9, but it seems likely that the team would try to work out a restructured deal if it plans to keep him, rather than bringing him back on the option.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, left, says he has not spoken to Adrian Peterson about the running back’s $18 million option for the 2017 season.

“Adrian Peterson has a significant contract coming up. We have to make a decision,” Spielman said. “I’m not going to announce anything, but that will get addressed here before free agency starts.

The Vikings face a decision on Peterson after a year where he played just three games after tearing the meniscus in his right knee on Sept. 18. Peterson carried 37 times for 72 yards last season, returning in less than three months from his injury to play against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 18, but he sat out the Vikings’ final two games because of an adductor strain he suffered in his first game back.

He has said he wants to be back in Minnesota, but he also said in an ESPN appearance last month that he’s been keeping an eye on a number of other teams should the Vikings not bring him back, among them the New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans.

Signs point to Sam Bradford being the Vikes’ QB for the foreseeable future, so a new deal would give them cost certainty and peace of mind.