Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
When free agent running back Latavius Murray signed with the Minnesota Vikings late Wednesday night, it was all but confirmed that longtime Vikings back Adrian Peterson would not return to team next season. Thursday, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman provided that confirmation.
"I've talked to Adrian and we had a great conversation earlier today and I know with us signing Murray, Adrian will move on elsewhere," Spielman said via conference call Thursday afternoon.
When the Vikings originally declined Peterson's $18 million option for the 2017 season, Spielman said that the team would continue to leave all doors open and remain in contact with Peterson and his representatives, noting that a return to the team was not out of the question. Today Spielman confirmed that a return would not be happening.
Spielman noted the difficulty of such decisions not only with Peterson but with other free agents that have parted ways with the team such as Cordarrelle Patterson, Zach Line, Rhett Ellison, etc., but added that it is a business and simply impossible financially to keep everyone.
With a Peterson return now out the question, the Vikings will move forward with Murray likely as their starting running back, meaning that come week one, for the first time in 10 years, the Minnesota Vikings will take the field without Adrian Peterson on their roster.
Spielman did share a nice sentiment towards Peterson and his time in the purple and gold before addressing the rest of free agency.
"Adrian is probably going to go down as one of the greatest Minnesota Vikings in team history," Spielman said. "He will always be a Viking to the fans and to the people in this building and he will always have a special place in this franchise. We are very fortunate that we are able to have, predominately, most of Adrian Peterson's career as a Minnesota Viking."