Vikings bar Peterson from team activities, place him on exempt list
There appears to be no end to the twists and turns in the Adrian Peterson story, and early Wednesday morning, the Minnesota Vikings appeared to drop the biggest bombshell since the running back’s arrest last week.
The club’s owners announced in a statement to the media that they are following the recommendation of the NFL and placing the All-Pro on the exempt / commissioner’s permission list, which bars Peterson from all team activities.
Here is the statement in full:
Early on Wednesday, the NFLPA released this statement, saying Peterson played a role in the decision: "Adrian Peterson made a decision to take a voluntary leave with pay to take care of his personal and legal issues. The NFLPA and NFL worked with Adrian and the Minnesota Vikings to resolve this unique situation. We support this decision and hope the best for him and his family."
While the statement made no mention of how long Peterson would remain on the list, FOX Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer tweeted this shortly after the Vikings’ statement was released:
Vikings have placed Adrian Peterson on Commissioner's exempt list, meaning he's shelved until further notice
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) September 17, 2014
During his time on the Commissioner's exempt list he will be required to stay away from the team and handle his personal situation
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) September 17, 2014
"This is the best possible outcome given the circumstances," Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, told The Associated Press. "Adrian understands the gravity of the situation and this enables him to take care of his personal situation. We fully support Adrian and he looks forward to watching his teammates and coaches being successful during his absence."
Shortly after the announcement, Peterson for the second time in a week responded to a development by tweeting a religious quote. This was Wednesday’s tweet:
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) September 17, 2014
The Vikings’ announcement capped a busy day of developments in the Peterson saga, a day which saw:
• The mother of the 4-year-old boy allegedly abused by Peterson break her silence and demand the media stop using photos of the child’s injury and publishing details of the investigation.
• A report that the Vikings would consider trading Peterson, but not release him.
• The governor of Minnesota voice his displeasure with Peterson and the Vikings, and state his belief Peterson should be suspended "until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system."
• Corporate NFL sponsors release statements about their concerns over the recent controversies to plague the league, most notably Anheuser-Busch.
• Castrol Motor Oil, Special Olympics Minnesota and Mylan Inc. all severed ties with Peterson himself, and Twin Cities Nike stores pulled Peterson’s jerseys from its shelves.
Peterson was charged on Friday and surrendered to police early Saturday, charged with causing injury to a child age 14 or younger. He allegedly hit one of his sons with a wooden switch while disciplining the boy on or around May 18.
After the charges came to light, the Vikings deactivated the All-Pro for last weekend’s game, a blowout loss to New England. On Monday, the Vikings reinstated Peterson and announced he would play this coming weekend. Shortly afterward, a report surfaced that the mother of another of Peterson’s sons filed a report with Child Protective Services over an incident alleged to have occurred "last June," when that child was 4-years-old.
Another famous use of exempt/commissioner’s permission list was in 2009, when the Eagles used the designation on Michael Vick before the season after signing him following his release from prison.
Vick served 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to his role in a dogfighting ring. Vick missed the first two games of the season — also remaining away from the team while on the exempt list — then returned to the team and played in Week 3 of that season.
What this means for Peterson’s future with the team remains to be seen. The 29-year-old has been the face of the franchise practically since he was drafted in 2007, one of the most popular and marketable stars in the NFL whose All Day Foundation charity is devoted to helping children.
But the foundation’s website was shuttered on Tuesday, at one point posting a message that it "will re-engage after Adrian, his family, and staff have reflected on how the current situation impacts the direction for Adrian’s philanthropy."
Peterson has rushed for 10,190 yards and 86 touchdowns in his career. He won the MVP award in 2012 after rushing for 2,097 yards in his return from a torn ACL.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report