NFL notebook: Peterson says he wants secure future with Vikings
Running back Adrian Peterson, the only player on the Minnesota Vikings’ roster who did not show up for the first week of OTAs, kept his name in the headlines Thursday.
Not coincidentally, it was one day after coach Mike Zimmer said Peterson’s “not going to play for anybody else. That’s just the way it’s going to be.”
Peterson apparently thinks Zimmer insinuated the great running back was angling for a trade. Not so, Peterson said in an interview with ESPN. Then he also tweeted Thursday that he believes NFL contracts are too one-sided in favor of the teams.
“The reason I’m not attending OTAs has nothing to do with wanting to be traded,” he said to ESPN. “It’s about securing my future with the Vikings. It’s business, not personal, and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings.”
Peterson has three years and $46 million left on his contract. None of it is guaranteed. His agent, Ben Dogra, backed off on trade demands once the draft was over. But the new squabble obviously is over the fact there is no more guaranteed money in Peterson’s current deal.
On Thursday, Peterson complained via Twitter about the unfair nature of NFL contracts, where players are held to the deals but teams can release players at their discretion.
—Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s agent says progress has been made on a new contract but there is no deadline and Wilson would have no problem playing out the final year of his rookie deal.
Wilson has been one of the best bargains in the NFL since the Seahawks drafted him in the third round in 2012, helping the team to two Super Bowls and one title. He is due to make $1.54 million next season in the final year of his contract, and the team and agent Mark Rodgers have been engaged in discussions over an extension.
“Neither side has any real deadlines. I know the public and the fans and some of the media has put a sense of urgency on this, but there really are no deadlines,” Rodgers told 710 ESPN Seattle on Thursday. “Russell Wilson’s under contract with the Seahawks and … if he has to, would certainly be fine playing his fourth year under a four-year contract that he signed coming out and then moving on from there. I don’t feel any particular crunch on time and any real particular deadlines.”
Rodgers added, “I would characterize our talks as ongoing, fluid, robust at times, thoughtful. And we’ve made progress. … I would characterize them as positive and encouraging.”
—Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady is expected to miss the 2015 season after suffering a torn left ACL during practice Wednesday.
On Thursday, coach Gary Kubiak said Clady “kind of felt his knee buckle a little bit” while setting up to block during practice Wednesday.
“He actually played another play and then pulled himself out; he said his knee was sore,” Kubiak said. “We really weren’t that worried about it last night; everybody felt good. But we thought we’d take a look at it this morning, and unfortunately we got some horrible news.”
Kubiak said the team’s doctors will wait eight to 10 days to let the knee “calm down” before performing surgery.
—Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly on Thursday denied LeSean McCoy’s inflammatory insinuation that Kelly is a racist.
“I’ve got great respect for LeSean; however, in that situation, I think he’s wrong,” Kelly said in his first public response to McCoy’s comments in an ESPN The Magazine interview earlier this month.
“We’ve put a lot of time into looking at the characters and factors that go into selection and retention of players,” Kelly said, “and color has never been one of them.”
McCoy, the former star running back of the Eagles who was traded to the Buffalo Bills in March, said earlier this month that Kelly “got rid of … all of the good black players” in Philadelphia. McCoy specifically mentioned wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who was released after the 2013 season. The Eagles also let receiver Jeremy Maclin sign with the Kansas City Chiefs this year.
Kelly said he has tried to call McCoy twice, “and he didn’t accept my call.”
—Hoping to make inroads toward a $1.3 billion replacement for antiquated Qualcomm Stadium, the San Diego Chargers are set to begin talks with city officials next week.
The Chargers and Oakland Raiders are involved in relocation discussions to move the team to Los Angeles if each team’s current stadium situation cannot be settled.
Qualcomm Stadium, built in 1967, is outdated relative to the many modern stadiums in the NFL.
—The New York Jets released quarterback Matt Simms on Thursday.
Simms, a three-year veteran, was buried on the depth chart behind incumbent starter Geno Smith, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie fourth-round pick Bryce Petty.
Simms, the son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, signed with the Jets as undrafted free agent out of Tennessee in 2012.