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Vikings coach Mike Zimmer tells Adrian Peterson what his two choices are (Shutdown Corner) ( today ) Courtesy of
The Adrian Peterson saga is leading to one of two conclusions, no matter how many alternate paths are suggested. And if there was any ambiguity about the situation, Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer laid them out very simply. "Adrian really has two choices: He can either play for us or he cannot play," Zimmer told reporters on Wednesday, via the NFL Network . "He's not going to play for anyone else, that's just the way it's going to be." That's it. That's the list. And the "he'll retire" part of that equation seems like the emptiest of threats. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football is back: Sign up for a league today! ] Peterson is looking quite petulant in this battle, which isn't really a battle. It's one side stomping its feet while the other shrugs. Peterson, apparently, isn't happy with how the Vikings handled the situation last year regarding his legal issue. Peterson was indicted in a child-abuse case after his then 4-year-old son suffered injuries when Peterson punished him with a switch, and Peterson eventually pled no contest. Here's the problem with Peterson being upset, and his agent's bickering in public: He has no leverage. His only hint of leverage is to not play, which isn't much leverage at all. The Vikings just keep his $12.75 million base salary and go on without him. Peterson has much more to lose in that scenario. If Peterson retires, he'd be doing so in his prime and walking away from the more than $40 million remaining on his contract. He also wouldn't do many favors for his Pro Football Hall of Fame candidacy, though it's possible he has done enough already in that regard. But he wouldn't really gain much from it. This is a staredown in which only one side is staring. The other side is just waiting to fast-forward to the part in which we reach the conclusion everyone knows we'll reach, and Peterson is in the Week 1 lineup. A trade seems extremely unlikely, and that has been the case since the draft ended. The Vikings should have playoff hopes this season so they won't sell low on a former MVP, and if a team was going to give up what Minnesota wanted they have had ample opportunity to do so. He's not getting cut; there's zero point in that. Peterson is likely not retiring either, for the reasons we all know. Even a reworked contract seems like an unreasonable request, considering Peterson already has a mega-deal that looks phenomenal compared to recent running back deals. Peterson sitting out of OTAs will just cost him $250,000; it won't change anything regarding his situation. Simply, no good is going to come out of this stance for Peterson. Like Zimmer said, either Peterson plays for Minnesota, or he doesn't play. Everyone should expect he'll play. Peterson just looks bad by his camp continuing to press for a trade or leaking hard-to-believe retirement rumors. The conclusion likely won't change no matter what other threats he or his handlers can invent. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab Yahoo! Wed, May 27
Zimmer says Peterson can play for Vikings or not play at all (Yahoo Sports) ( today ) Courtesy of

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2014, file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson leaves the field after an NFL preseason football game against the Oakland Raiders in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Vikings will open their optional team practices this week without Peterson. The star running back has told coach Mike Zimmer that he will not attend the three days of team work that begin Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Sunday, May 24, 2015. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer says Adrian Peterson has two choices: He can either play for the Vikings or he cannot play at all. The star running back has missed the first two days of optional team practices and is not expected to attend any of the optional workouts this summer. Zimmer said Wednesday that Peterson ''is not going to play for anybody else and that's just the way it is.'' Peterson is not required to show up until a mandatory minicamp on June 16.

Yahoo! Wed, May 27
QB Christian Ponder makes most of opportunity with Raiders (The Associated Press) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
After spending last season mired on the bench in Minnesota, Christian Ponder is happy for any chance he gets to work with the first-team offense. Ponder has spent the past two weeks during the offseason program for the Oakland Raiders working with the top offense while starter Derek Carr nurses a finger injury on his throwing hand. It's a far cry from last season when the former first-round pick and quarterback who led Minnesota to the playoffs in his second season was relegated to third string behind rookie Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel. Yahoo! Tue, May 26
Adrian Peterson reportedly still wants out of Minnesota (NBC on Yahoo Sports) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
ProFootballTalk: Mike Florio breaks down the latest from the Adrian Peterson situation, explaining how Peterson will reportedly skip the Vikings' entire offseason program and wants to move on from Minnesota. The agitation through his agent ended when the draft came and went without the Vikings trading running back  Adrian Peterson . The motivation to no longer play for the team reportedly lingers. According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, Peterson  still wants out of Minnesota . Per Robinson, Peterson will skip the entire offseason program, not just the first week of Organized Team Activities. Which means that Peterson will forfeit a $250,000 workout bonus. The next question becomes whether he’ll skip a mandatory minicamp, which runs from June 16-18. If he doesn’t show, Peterson can be fined $12,155 for missing the first day, $24,300 for missing the second day, and $36,465 for missing the third day — a total of $72,920. Given that he’ll already lose $250,000 by skipping voluntary workouts, what’s another $72,920? However, Peterson has been careful not to say or do anything that would directly indicate to the public that there’s a real problem, relying instead on the words of his agent and/or Peterson’s father, along with a stream of leaks to the media, with the latest coming from a “longtime Peterson confidant.” Failing to show up for mandatory minicamp would become the first tangible action from Peterson himself that a significant problem exists. The news that Peterson still wants out is a bit of a surprise. The leaks regarding his desire to leave had ended with the draft. And agent Ben Dogra  had openly accepted that the Vikings want to keep Peterson. But Dogra also said he wants a “commitment to make him retire as a Viking.” Appearing earlier this month on  PFT Live , Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman  declined to comment  on any talks or efforts to upgrade Peterson’s contract, which currently carries no guaranteed money over the final three years. (As a practical matter, though, he’ll get his full salary of $12.75 million for 2015 if he’s on the roster as of Week One.) It’s hard to reconcile Peterson’s desire to leave Minnesota with his desire to get more guaranteed money to stay. If he truly wants out, more guaranteed money shouldn’t matter. Robinson reports that it is a “far more personal issue” between player and team, and that it “has never been about the money.” Which likely means it’s always been about the money. Whether it’s about the money or not (it is), the Vikings aren’t about to trade him — absent an offer that would give them no choice but to do it. With the 2015 draft over, it will be harder for an interested team to pull it off. Recently, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones mused that his desire to win now  could induce him  to give up a 2016 first-round pick to get the right player. While Jones wisely didn’t mention Peterson, who else would they need at this point? Still, it’s unlikely the Vikings would take only a 2016 first-round pick at this point. And so the impasse about money or something other than money (money) will continue, until mandatory minicamp arrives and either Peterson accepts that the Vikings won’t be trading him or he calls the Vikings on their not-so-subtle “play for us or play for no one” stance and fails to show up. The stakes are fairly high. With $12.75 million in base salary due for 2015 and $2.4 million in unearned signing bonus payable back to the Vikings, the $322,920 he’ll lose by not showing up for the offseason program or minicamp is the tip of a $15,472,920 iceberg. So look for Peterson to eventually show up. At some point, he’ll work through the anger-denial-bargaining-depression and accept that he has no leverage here. The harder his agent, family, and/or unnamed confidants try to paint Peterson as a victim, the worse he’ll look. - Pro Football Talk, NBC Sports Yahoo! Tue, May 26
NFL-National Football League roundup (Reuters) Courtesy of
The Chicago Bears released defensive end Ray McDonald after he was arrested on charges of domestic violence and child endangerment in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday. Police said in a news release that McDonald was arrested after officers said he "physically assaulted the victim while she was holding a baby." - - Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson plans to skip this week's organized team activities and possibly send a message that he still wants to be traded. A source close to Peterson told Yahoo Sports on Sunday night that Peterson has not wavered privately about his wish to continue his career with another franchise. Yahoo! Mon, May 25
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