As the NFL offseason settles down after a hectic start there remains one big question that has yet to be answered. Just what does the future hold for Adrian Peterson?
The speculation is that Adrian Peterson may be traded away by the Minnesota Vikings in the near future. The franchise though, publicly at least, are making the right noises when it comes to keeping the star on their roster for the 2015 season.
Indeed, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer went public today with comments that will excite many Minnesota fans, but - considering the current situation and his views on the topic just a few weeks ago - those hoping that Peterson's future lies with the Vikings may want to hold fire before celebrating too much.
"Adrian is under contract with us and we're excited to get him back here with his teammates and get him back playing," Zimmer said in a recent interview with The Star Tribune.
Taken at face value this suggests the Vikings are working towards the idea that Peterson will be part of the Minnesota back field going forward into training camp and beyond. An exciting thought for those fans backing the RB to come back strong from his recent suspension.
Most importantly for many, the quotes see Zimmer move away from his recent stance that the Vikings would "accommodate" Peterson's wishes for a trade if needs be. This development would certainly point to AP sticking around.
Boost market value
In reality though, the fact that Zimmer is now positively talking about Adrian Peterson returning could actually point to the star heading for the exit door.
The head coach's statement is little more than a PR-advised soundbite built for one purpose only.
With the NFL league meeting on the horizon many expect trade offers for Peterson to ramp up. As such, the Vikings are simply trying to boost AP's market value.
By going public with comments suggesting Peterson will be with the Vikings moving forward they are strengthening their hand.
The Arizona Cardinals for example, believed to be at the head of the list of potential suitors, can no longer go to the negotiating table with a low ball offer. Something that may have been possible if the Vikings continued to claim they wouldn't stand in the way of Peterson seeking a move.
With Adrian Peterson reportedly intent on a trade, the Vikings are simply ensuring they get the most in return by acting as if they aren't planning on letting him leave.
What do you think Vikings fans? Have you seen the last of AP in a Minnesota uniform? And what can you expect to get in return? Let us know in the comments section below...