Adrian Peterson: 'I'll let it ride'

Updated: July 31, 2014, 4:24 PM ET
By Ben Goessling | ESPN.com

MANKATO, Minn. -- If there was ever a point in Adrian Peterson's career with the Minnesota Vikings when he could have thought seriously about leaving, the end of last season could have been it.

Peterson was frustrated with the Vikings' decision to fire Leslie Frazier, a coach for whom the 2012 NFL MVP said he wanted to play for the rest of his career, and he was leery about playing for his third coach in eight years, without any guarantee the Vikings were any closer to winning a championship.

The Vikings' decision to hire Mike Zimmer -- and Zimmer's decision to hire offensive coordinator Norv Turner -- restored Peterson's faith in the organization, he said.

"I wasn't happy. I wasn't feeling good about being here in Minnesota at the end of last season," Peterson said in a wide-ranging interview with ESPN on Thursday. "Coaches change, but everything was shaken up.

"That changed when these guys came in, and draft picks and different things like that. [I] bought back in, and I'll let it ride out."

Peterson said there still could be a point where he wants to head elsewhere if the Vikings aren't contending, though he couldn't put a timetable on when that might happen. He is signed through 2017 and is the highest-paid running back in the NFL.

[+] EnlargeAdrian Peterson
Tom Dahlin/Getty ImagesAdrian Peterson says he is energized by Minnesota's new coaching staff.

After seeing the Vikings move on from veterans like Antoine Winfield, Kevin Williams and Jared Allen, Peterson is aware that the time could come when "if you can't do anything for an organization, they're going to ship your butt up out of here."

At the moment, though, with Zimmer and Turner in place, Peterson says he's energized for his eighth season. He called the Vikings' selection of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater "a bonus" to what the team had done with the coaching staff, and sounded hopeful about the team's prospects in the next several years.

"I don't play this game to break all the records and not have a championship," he said. "But I feel like we can do it here. I honestly do. If I ever start to feel differently, my actions will show that.

"But for now, I'm locked in, man. I feel like we have the right pieces to be able to accomplish winning a championship. I can't be foolish and say, 'Oh, I'm just going to stick around forever,' if we have no hopes of winning a championship. You've got to be able to be smart and take advantage of the time you have. ... But right now, I feel like we have the right pieces, the right coaches, to get it done."

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter

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