Mike Zimmer: Adrian Peterson not 'going to play for anybody else'

ByBen Goessling ESPN logo
Thursday, May 28, 2015

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- While Adrian Peterson missed his second day of Minnesota Vikings' organized team activities Wednesday, coach Mike Zimmerlaid out a simple choice for the running back: Play for us or play for no one.

"He's not going to play for anybody else," Zimmer said.

The remarks were Zimmer's strongest on Peterson, who has been absent since the start of the Vikings' offseason workout program and continues to harbor resentment over how the team treated him following his indictment on child injury charges last September.

Peterson, however, denied that his absence stemmed from any personal feelings toward the team, telling ESPN's Josina Anderson in a statement, "The reason I'm not attending OTA's has nothing to do with wanting to be traded. It's about securing my future with the Vikings. It's business, not personal and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings."

Peterson had told ESPN in February he was "still uneasy" about returning to the Vikings in 2015, saying the team had not done enough to support him and adding his family was ambivalent about him coming back to Minnesota. The running back also told ESPN in December he was so discouraged about the NFL's handling of his suspension that he'd contemplated retirement, and Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said in March it wasn't in Peterson's "best interests" to continue his career in Minnesota.

The Vikings, however, have maintained they will not trade Peterson, and passed up what might have been their best chance to do so during the draft. With the 30-year-old running back under contract through the 2017 season, the Vikings seem content to wait Peterson out.

"He's missed a lot of OTAs over the course of his career. I'm not worried about it," Zimmer said. "I've got 89 guys out here that I'm coaching to try and get better."

Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman met with the running back at his home outside Houston in March, and the coach said he has talked with Peterson since then. He added, however, that he hadn't spoken with Peterson recently, calling a report "completely false" that Peterson told him directly he wouldn't be at OTAs.

"I don't know when he's coming," Zimmer said. "We'll just leave it at that."

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