|2013 Regular Season|
General manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer spent about four hours Wednesday afternoon at Peterson's home north of Houston. Photographers captured Spielman and Zimmer leaving together, dressed in sport coats and blue jeans. This was the first time meeting they've had with Peterson since the star running back was placed on the exempt list in mid-September following his indictment in a child abuse case involving his 4-year-old son.
Several high-ranking Vikings officials have expressed their desire to bring Peterson back in recent weeks, and Spielman's comments to reporters at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis were the strongest yet. Spielman, however, declined to comment about whether or not the Vikings would ask Peterson to restructure his contract. His deal calls for a salary cap hit of $15.4 million in 2015.
It was more criticism of the disciplinary process that Peterson and the union have derided as arbitrary and unfair since punishment was levied by the NFL after the running back was charged in a child abuse case involving his son. He resolved the case with a plea bargain last year. Peterson and the union would prefer a ruling before March 10, when the league's free agency and trading period starts.
Attorneys for the NFL Players Association are scheduled to argue Friday for the Minnesota Vikings running back's reinstatement from a suspension levied by the league under its personal conduct policy.
Spielman says he has no doubt Peterson "is going to play at a very high level when he comes back." When asked if he wants Peterson back on the Vikings, Spielman said, "I don't know if there's a team in the NFL that wouldn't want Adrian Peterson on their football team."
The petition was filed Monday in Minnesota, where the NFLPA has often gone to contest labor matters with the league. Peterson was suspended without pay for the remaining six games of this season by Commissioner Roger Goodell as a result of the child-abuse case that has kept the six-time Pro Bowl pick out of all but one game this year. Arbitrator Harold Henderson on Friday affirmed the penalty issued by Goodell, which Peterson appealed.
The NFL Players Association balked at the punishment. Peterson was charged with felony child abuse in September for using a wooden switch to discipline his son, but he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault in November. He had been on paid leave while his case moved through the court system.
Peterson gave a statement without testifying on Tuesday, according to one person. Another person said hearing officer Harold Henderson asked Vincent to testify after the NFL Players Association submitted an audio tape and a transcript of a conversation between Vincent and Peterson as evidence.
Peterson is seeking reinstatement after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for the rest of the season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Peterson will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15.
The NFL announced Friday that longtime hearing officer Harold Henderson will preside over the proceedings involving the Minnesota Vikings star running back. Goodell has the authority to decide whether to hear the appeal himself or appoint someone else. Peterson has not played since the opening week of the season while dealing with child abuse allegations in Texas.