EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Time is running out for Adrian Peterson and the Vikings to work out a way for the venerable running back to stay in Minnesota. With the increasing likelihood of a split after 10 seasons together, the two sides have not spoken yet about a path to a future if there's even a mutual desire for it. General manager Rick Spielman sounded Thursday a little like he was eulogizing the franchise's all-time leading rusher. "In my mind, regardless of whether Adrian is here or not here next year because of whatever happens, he will always be a Minnesota Viking," Spielman said. Spielman, meeting with reporters at team headquarters, said he has not spoken with Peterson or his representatives
The free agent left tackle market keeps getting deeper. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, the Broncos will not pick up the option on left tackle Russell Okung, which will turn him into the open market. The $1 million option would have activated the next four years at $48 million, with $20.5 million in guarantees, and that was too high a price for the Broncos to pay. Okung can now go represent himself in a market that also includes players such as Ryan Clady, Matt Kalil, Andrew Whitworth and Kelvin Beachum, and that kind of crowd might make a guy want to hire an agent. It also sets the stage for an extensive rebuild for the Broncos, whose offensive line was a major issue last year.
The Vikings slipped from a division title in 2015 and 5-0 start to the 2016 season to an 8-8 finish that left them outside of the postseason. That’s left coach Mike Zimmer and the rest of his staff with a clear goal for the 2017 season and the coach said in an interview with the team’s website that they are already “grinding” to put together a team that can achieve better results this time around. Zimmer also said that he’s wondered if “maybe I didn’t do enough” at this time last year when pondering the disappointing record. One way he’s working to combat that feeling is by spending more time in offensive meetings than he has in the past to learn about what the team’s offensive coaches think