Peterson has decided to join the Vikings for organized team activities. He was reinstated by the NFL two months ago but has been holding out in hopes of forcing a trade or being paid more guaranteed money.
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“I’m returning because I want to. I’m a part of this football team and I owe it to the guys I play with and to our coaches,” Peterson told ESPN.com’s Ben Goessling. “I was planning on coming in this week, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the field. It’s what I love to do.”
Goessling reports that the team has not restructured Peterson’s contract, though he suddenly decided he would return after speaking with Vikings coach Mike Zimmer recently.
“I’ve been watching this game from the sidelines for far too long,” Peterson said. “My teammates and coaches are important to me. Those relationships matter, and I owe it to those guys. I knew I wanted to come in this week. I had a family obligation last week but I’m ready to put on a Vikings uniform again and get back to work.”
If the Vikings agreed to restructure Peterson’s contract in some way, they did him a massive favor. He is scheduled to make $12.75 million in 2015, which is far more than any other running back in the league. Peterson is under contract with the Vikings through 2017, though all of his guaranteed money has already been paid out.
Peterson did his best to force his way to another team (this one in particular), but the Vikings didn’t budge. He had — and still has — no leverage. It was either play for Minnesota or don’t play at all.