What Surgery Means for Adrian Peterson’s Career
Adrian Peterson was faced with a few options when it came to recovering from a torn meniscus and he elected for surgery. Here's what could happen in the future.
Peterson, who is in his 10th NFL season, has now gone under the knife for his knee two times. The Vikings star tore his ACL and MCL in 2011 and managed to return for Week 1 of the 2012 season.
That was a little time ago. The 31 year old running back can't have a full sense of security when it comes to his NFL career. Minnesota is on the hook to owe Peterson $18 million for next season alone. Spoiler, The Vikings are NOT going to pay him that next year.
The Vikings were going to look into re-working the deal heading into next year, especially with Sam Bradford being owed $17 million for 2017. That made this year kind of like a contract year for Peterson, in regards to the Vikings or any other NFL team. In his first two games this season Peterson has rushed 31 times for 50 yards. That alone won't keep the contract for next year when other players such as Xavier Rhodes and Sharrif Floyd are due for a payday.
So what are some of the options from a business side that Peterson had to think about?
- Rehab and return this season - The offensive line hasn't helped the running back much to start the year. If Peterson was to rush back from injury, his numbers might continue to be as bad as they have been at the start. There would also be the chance of re-injury at that point. The benefit? He would have the chance to play for his contract and dictate how much he earns. This obviously didn't happen.
- Take surgery and potentially return - This option is still on the table but comes with a risk but high reward. If the Vikings are able to continue towards the playoffs without Peterson, his value automatically decreases. If he's able to return and help push the Vikings to the playoffs, his case for his high contract would be warranted. Would all depend on how quick he can get back on the field.
- Take surgery and DON'T return - Now this is playing the market and has the situation that gives the most to gain and lose. Again, the Vikings are not going to pay him based on his current contract. This would give him the chance to get the issues fixed, and then rehab it back to top form while not sacrificing numbers/stats. In this scenario, the running back would probably be on another NFL team next season. He would be able to present his case to teams about how he has recovered and how he will be the Adrian Peterson we all know. He could potentially be paid more by some teams compared to others. Let's make this clear, Peterson won't receive $18 million from anyone, but the market would dictate his value. It would be essentially taking a bet on himself. The other side of the market? The extreme scenario would be for no NFL team taking a chance on a (then) 32 year old running back with two knee surgeries...but I wouldn't count on that.
It will be very interesting to see how this plays out from the business perspective as it's all fluid. I would bet he's in the NFL next year, but as of now it seems like it will be outside of Minnesota just from the business side of things.