Co-owner Mark Wilf: Adrian Peterson 'one of the great Vikings of all-time'

ByBen Goessling ESPN logo
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Minnesota Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf said the team's ownership talked over the phone with Adrian Petersonduring free agency, and said the running back will be remembered as "one of the greatest Vikings of all time."

Wilf, speaking Tuesday at the NFL owners' meetings in Arizona, said the team's owners met in person with Peterson at the end of the season and again with him by phone during free agency. The Vikings declined Peterson's $18 million option, which included a $6 million roster bonus, for 2017, and signed former Raiders running back Latavius Murray to a three-year, $15 million deal on March 16.

General manager Rick Spielman announced later that day the Vikings had told Peterson they would not be bringing him back on a new contract.

Peterson, whom the Vikings drafted seventh overall in 2007, holds the franchise record with 11,747 rushing yards. His 102 touchdowns are the second-most in team history, trailing only Cris Carter's 110. He set the NFL single-game rushing record with 296 yards his rookie year, and won league MVP honors in 2012 after he returned from a torn ACL in nine months to run for 2,097 yards and lead the Vikings to the playoffs.

"From the day we drafted him to today, he's really one of the greatest Vikings of all time," Wilf said. "We know he'll always be part of the Minnesota Vikings family. We really feel that, and he knows that; we've told him that personally.

"It's all good there with Adrian. A lot of great memories, and I know he's got a lot of great football left in him. He brought us and our fans a lot of thrills over the years. I know he's going to be part of the pantheon of Vikings for all time."

ESPN NFL reporter Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.