In 2007, the Minnesota Vikings drafted tailback Adrian Peterson in the first round and receiver Sidney Rice in the second. The two became fast friends, both on and off the field, and planned to be cornerstones of an explosive offense for years to come.
So as Peterson enters the final year of his contract, it's worth noting his reaction to Rice's departure on Wednesday. Not long after Rice agreed to a five-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, Peterson said via Twitter:
From the outside, Rice's decision to leave was hardly surprising. The Vikings did not offer an extension after his Pro Bowl season in 2009, and as we discussed Wednesday, an obvious frost had developed between the player and the team. My understanding is that the Vikings were competitive on the financial side of this deal in recent days, but I wonder if Peterson is referring to the Vikings' unwillingness to offer an extension last year -- as well as their decision this winter to use the franchise tag on linebacker Chad Greenway instead of Rice.
I'm sure Peterson is disappointed on a personal level. Will it impact his attitude toward re-signing with the Vikings? I'm pretty sure the Vikings intend to add at least one veteran receiver in the coming days. ESPN's John Clayton suggests it could be free agent Braylon Edwards.
As for Peterson? In the end, I think, money talks.
Recent Vikings posts: The best way to view the acquisition of quarterback Donovan McNabb is as (expensive) insurance for rookie Christian Ponder. Rice wanted a fresh start. The Vikings made the right call in bringing back place-kicker Ryan Longwell. Receiver Percy Harvin plans to play at about 10 pounds lighter this season. The Vikings have a tough decision on Peterson's contract.