CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that “some who have talked to Peterson with regularity” ever since his child abuse scandal landed him on the Commissioner’s Exempt List for the nearly the entire 2014 NFL season say Peterson “ruminated on the possibility of retirement more than once, and has seemed less than enthusiastic about the prospect of playing professional football more than once.”
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The notion that Peterson would rather hang up his cleats permanently than play for the Vikings again arguably could be nothing more than a strong-armed and heavy-handed negotiating tactic on behalf of Peterson and his representatives.
La Canfora suggests that Ben Dobra, Peterson’s fiery agent, should never be underestimated and that he is willing to do just about anything to get Peterson out of Minnesota, even if that means floating the notion that the running back would opt for retirement.
Peterson reportedly was left extremely embittered over what he perceives as a lack of support from the Vikings in the wake of his child abuse scandal. He has suggested on at least one occasion that it may be better for all parties to go their separate ways.
Dobra, meanwhile, was much more direct with his rhetoric in the past, even suggesting at one point that Peterson would never play for the Vikings again and even had a reported altercation with a Vikings executive at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Dobra, however, has greatly softened his stance of late, presumably related to the fact that the Vikings didn't trade Peterson during the 2015 NFL Draft, not to mention his client has virtually no leverage with the team.
Peterson, 30, has nearly $45 million left on his deal with the Vikings over the next three seasons, none of which is guaranteed. Dobra recently suggested the Vikings should show loyalty to Peterson by offering him a guaranteed contract.
The entire sordid saga continues to be a convoluted, dysfunctional mess. The rumors that Peterson would rather end his professional football career than play for the Vikings simply is the latest development in what has become one of the ugliest showdowns between a player and a team in recent memory.
And there’s no indications that it is going to improve any time soon.