Adrian Peterson will become a free agent after 10 seasons with the Vikings

Adrian Peterson saw limited playing time last season while dealing with a meniscus tear in his right knee.
(Andy Clayton-King / Associated Press)

Adrian Peterson is about to become a free agent, after 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings that included three NFL rushing titles and an MVP season along with some controversy.

The Vikings announced Tuesday morning that they will decline their option to keep their all-time leading rusher for the 2017 season, a move that saves the team $18 million. General Manager Rick Spielman said in a statement that the news doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve seen the last of Peterson in a Vikings uniform.

“Adrian is an important part of the Minnesota Vikings organization,” Spielman stated. “We will continue to have conversations with his representatives and leave our future options open while determining what is best for both parties moving forward.”


In a statement to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Peterson also said “the door is still open to find some common ground” with the Vikings.

“In the meantime,” he added, “ I will explore my other options and see what path God leads me on. My main goal remains the same: to win a Super Bowl championship with a great team, which I also believe we have in Minnesota.”

Drafted seventh overall out of Oklahoma by the Vikings in 2007, Peterson was named the offensive rookie of the year after rushing for 1,341 yards, second best in the league that year. He went on to lead the NFL in rushing in 2008 (1,760 yards) and 2012 (2,097, the second highest single-season yardage total in league history), when he also won most valuable player honors.

In 2014, Peterson spent all but one game either on the commissioner’s exempt list or suspended while facing child abuse charges. He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault.

After being reinstated to the NFL for the 2015 season, Peterson rushed for a league-best 1,485 yards.

A meniscus tear in his right knee limited Peterson to 72 yards on 37 carries last season.

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