You know, just once in this lifetime, I would like my favorite team to acquire a legendary skill position player who does NOT turn out to be a complete fucking shithead. The Vikings drafted Randy Moss, and I had to spend a decade justifying his existence to myself when he would sit down and make a salad on the weak side of a running play. Then they got Brett Favre and I enjoyed 95% of a pleasant season with him until all the interceptions and dong shots took over. Now there's Adrian Peterson, and given everything that has transpired with Peterson in the past six months, I find myself genuinely surprised that we didn't discover he was an insane asshole years ago.
Peterson wants out of Minnesota. Yesterday his agent, Ben "The Dawg" Dogra, declared that Peterson was a "poor fit" for the Vikings, which is comically incorrect from a football perspective. I can think of no team right now that would benefit MORE from the services of Adrian Peterson than the 2015 Vikings. Indeed, the Vikings feel likewise. They would like to keep him. And, at this point, what other choice do they have? Peterson has three years left on a huge contract that will pay him over $15 million a year if he serves it in full.
No other team is taking on that kind of contract for a 30-year-old running back, least of all a 30-year-old running back who's coming off of a year-long suspension and CLEARLY thinks that suspension was bullshit. (I bet he still whips his kids for hesitating at the ice cream truck.) For someone who would like to get away from the Vikings, Peterson has sure made it difficult for the team to move him for anything remotely close to equal value. It doesn't help when you spend the offseason publicly begging to leave, riding camels around at your birthday party, and generally acting like an oblivious asshat.
On pure talent alone, Peterson is worth a fortune in draft picks. But thanks to his salary, his age, the nature of his position, and all this jackassery, he's probably worth six dollars on the open market. Way to go, fuckhead. Way to make a graceful exit all but impossible at this point. Dogra has wildly overestimated Peterson's trade value, and greatly underestimated the football culture's enjoyment of any team winning a contract standoff. Any team telling any player "Play for us or you don't play at all!" probably gets Adam Schefter's dick hard at night. The more Peterson tries to get away, the more ensnared he becomes.
This sucks because, as it stands now, the 2015 Vikings are a promising young team. Not that promising—these are the Vikings, after all—but once a decade, they become just good enough to fuck it all up, and this looks like their latest chance to do so. Anyway, they could really use a healthy and rational Peterson on the roster. And I would like to watch a healthy and rational Peterson run with the ball, because he's the best pure runner I've ever seen. It's nice when your team has such a player. Even if you don't win anything of consequence, it's nice to have the player that takes everyone else's breath away. There's a different kind of joy in that.
But more and more, Peterson is making that kind of pure football joy a distant memory for Minnesota fans. Why couldn't he be normal? Why couldn't he just NOT beat the piss out of his kid? Other teams have normal players. Is it so goddamn hard? I JUST WANT TO SEE YOU RUN, YOU JACKASS. I want to live in alternate world where none of this ever happened and Adrian Peterson is a sensible fellow who gives his kids futile timeouts and doesn't try to ride a camel out of town. He essentially sabotaged the Vikings' season last year, and given what's happened so far this offseason, he seems poised to do it all over again. He'll be the mood ring for this team every week. Fuck. God dammit. Fuck. Stop being a moron, Adrian Peterson. You are stuck with the Vikings and they are stuck with you. Figure it out so that I can like you again.