Former Vikings star Adrian Peterson, who has earned nearly $100 million as a running back in the National Football League, left Minnesota without paying back a loan and must fork over about $600,000 to his lender, a Hennepin County judge has ruled.
Peterson borrowed $2.4 million from Crown Bank in May 2016 as he was preparing for his final season as a Viking. Court records show he took out the loan, which carried an annual interest rate of 7.5 percent, to refinance other debts.
Peterson defaulted on the loan the following October, shortly after he injured his knee in a nationally televised game against the Green Bay Packers. The injury forced Peterson to miss all but one game for the rest of the season, and the Vikings subsequently released him from the roster rather than paying him the $18 million Peterson was due to collect for the 2017 season.
Peterson pledged his Vikings contract as collateral for the Crown Bank loan.
In its lawsuit, Crown Bank said Peterson repaid a total of $1.9 million on the loan after the bank threatened to sue him to collect.
He also agreed to grant the bank a mortgage on his home in Eden Prairie, but a bank executive said in a court filing that a title investigation revealed that the property was already subject to two other mortgages “which exceed the value of the property.”
Crown Bank sued Peterson in November. In an unusual move, Peterson did not file an answer to the lawsuit or contest the bank’s claims, court records show. In addition to repaying $609,786 in principal and interest, Peterson was ordered to cover the bank’s $28,868 in legal fees.
Neither Peterson nor his attorney, Scott Zolke of Los Angeles, could be reached for comment.
Since leaving the Vikings, Peterson’s financial fortunes have sagged along with his productivity as a runner. Peterson agreed to a two-year deal worth $7 million with the New Orleans Saints last season. But the team traded him to the Arizona Cardinals after just four games.
Peterson, who will turn 33 in March, gained 448 yards in six games with the Cardinals until a neck injury ended his season. He recently told the Star Tribune that he hopes to return to the Cardinals next season, but reports indicate that the Cardinals may release him from the second year of his contract. Peterson said he would like to play pro football for another four years.
Jeffrey Meitrodt • 612-673-4132