Adrian Peterson’s restructured contract with the Vikings has finally been entered into the NFLPA’s system. And it was pretty much identical to what our friend Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk and others had reported.
We had the general details in Tuesday’s story. The new three-year deal gives Peterson $20 million guaranteed with a cash value of $42 million and a max value of $44 million. His old deal had a max value of $46 million.
Now let’s take a year-by-year look at the deal now that it is official.
2015: Some numbers were moved around, but not much changed here. Peterson’s old deal gave him a base salary of $12.75 million with a $250,000 workout bonus. The new deal gives him a guaranteed base salary of $11 million with a roster bonus of $2 million to be paid next Tuesday. But in Peterson’s old deal, his base salary would have become guaranteed if he was on the team for the season opener, and he would have been. So either way, the running back will earn $13 million this season. But now he has the peace of mind he wanted, too.
2016: Peterson had no guarantees in his old deal beyond 2015. Now he has $7 million of his new $7.75 million base salary guaranteed. It is for injury only, though. So if Peterson somehow experiences a Ray Rice-like decline in production, the Vikings could still cut him next winter at no cost. But right now it seems likely that Peterson remains a member of the Vikings next season, especially because this deal frees up an extra $4 million in 2016 cap space. And if the Vikings do keep him around, he will earn a $3 million roster bonus next March, though as Florio explained in this post, Peterson can earn up to $2 million more based on performance due to escalators.
2017: Peterson is slated to earn a base salary of $11.75 million with a $6 million roster bonus due on the third day of the 2017 league year if the Vikings choose to exercise their team option before the end of the 2016 league year. None of it is guaranteed and the potential cap hit of $18 million could be astronomical for a 32-year-old back, so chances are the Vikings and Peterson renegotiate again before then — maybe even next offseason.
So to sum the new deal up, Peterson got his way, with the Vikings showing their commitment by giving him guarantees for 2015 and 2016. They did, however, hang on to their flexibility in case the relationship sours again or if Peterson becomes the latest NFL back to be tackled by Father Time.