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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings GM Spielman ‘keeping options open’ with Adrian Peterson

By Matthew Coller

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman isn’t tipping his hand on whether the team is interested in bringing Adrian Peterson back.

On Tuesday, they team announced they would not pick up his option, making him a free agent.

“I spoke with his agent and I spoke with Adrian,” Spielman said in a sitdown with the Twin Cities media. “Very good conversations, I’ll keep those conversations between myself, Adrian and his representation, but very positive.”

In a pre-combine media session, the Vikings’ GM said that this year’s running back class is the deepest he had ever seen. Could that affect whether the Vikings offer Peterson a new contract?

“There’s a lot of different things that go into that, from what we do in free agency to what the market is for running backs to the draft, we have to weigh in all those potential options ,” Spielman said.

Reports swirled on Tuesday about whether Peterson would be a fit in new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s offense and what his price point might be, but Spielman wouldn’t lean one way or the other.

“Just like with all of our players, we’ll keep all our options open,” he said. “I don’t know how this all evolves, but from the standpoint of keeping options open on all of our players, that’s something we’ve always done in the past.”

In a statement to ESPN, Peterson said that he is “keeping the door open to find some common ground.

Based on Spielman’s comments, whether the Vikings move on from Peterson or not, it appears they expect Jerick McKinnon to be a significant part of their offense next season.

“I think Jerick was solid, I think he could definitely do some things better,” Spielman said. “But we’re excited. you have to remember, Jerick has only played that position for three years and we think he can continue to grow and develop. There’s no question when he gets the ball in his hands in specific situations, that he can be, and has shown to be, an explosive playmaker.”

If the Vikings do fill Peterson’s spot in the draft, how difficult might it be for a rookie to step into his shoes?

“If you look at rookie running backs when they do come in [and start], they seem to have a pretty good success rate early compared to some other positions,” Spielman said. “The reason why is, with the ball in their hand, they can rely on their athletic ability and ability to make plays. That comes natural to them. Where there is development is in pass protection. Understanding not only the schemes being called but the technique involved.

“Running backs coming out in the draft, a lot of them are in these spread offenses that aren’t asked to do a lot of blocking. There are the technical aspects of the game that have to be coached, but they seem to have success early because they can rely on their instincts and athletic ability.”

Spielman did not give a timeline for when the Vikings and Peterson could have a decision on his future.

The post Vikings GM Spielman ‘keeping options open’ with Adrian Peterson appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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