A Plea For Adrian Peterson To Relax, Reflect And Return To Minnesota

By Jeremy Damen / @hMJem

It seems like every time you hear about Adrian Peterson lately, it's a source saying that the future Hall of Fame running back still wants to be traded out of Minnesota. According CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, the retirement card could now come into play.

What really should happen, though, is Adrian Peterson remaining a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

Peterson can restore the bonds and perception in Minnesota and do community events to show he is serious about changing. I can't help but feel like he's blaming everyone but himself for his situation. In an ESPN article in February, Peterson was still uneasy about a return to Minnesota.

"It's hard to say (what my future will be). I love Minnesota. There are people that have had my back, and supported me. Last year, with the things that took place, had a lot of fans that supported me through everything. For the fans, I would definitely love to come back, but then again, it's a business, when it comes down to business, you can't get caught up in the loyalty to fans or to a team or anything like that. You know how it is in the NFL. I learned a lot through this process. I'm still uneasy, to be honest with you. I'm still uneasy about a lot of things that took place within the organization. Of course those guys ultimately supported me, and I'm grateful for that. But ultimately, with me being able to be on the inside and see how cards were dealt, how things were worded, this, that and the other, it's about protecting your brand, your organization, what you have built. In the (grand) scheme of things, not one person counts over that. I get that."

He must understand that when the news broke, people had a right to be reserved. Just because you're one of the best running backs in the NFL doesn't make you immune to public perception. Later came pictures that made a lot of people uneasy, and it should be clear as day why people would be a little nervous. I don't agree with sending angry tweets to athletes — I feel it's disrespectful to do so — but as uneasy as Adrian Peterson may feel about a return to Minnesota, people felt uneasy when the news initially broke.

Peterson is a player who doesn't run away from a challenge on the field. As a football fan, I would love to see him attempt this challenge the same way he runs on the field: full-steam ahead, no fear, full of confidence. If Peterson truly wants to be a Minnesota Viking for life, he can repair his perception. If Michael Vick can get back in the good graces of the public and the teams he went to, Adrian Peterson can do the same.

The Vikings need Peterson as much as he needs them. He has a huge contract and is 30 years old, and the reality is that there are few teams that realistically want to make trade for an expensive, aging back, along with giving up a possible 1st-round draft pick for him.

To Adrian, I urge you to attack this opportunity head on. You are a legendary player. If what happened is truly a mistake and you've learned from it, the public will learn to forgive you if you do your part in the community. Run down the tunnel for the first NFL game of the year as a Viking.

You don't succeed being afraid. Don't be afraid of stepping on the field again as a Viking.

Related: Adrian Peterson’s Incredible Freshman Year At Oklahoma Turns 10

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