At age 32, Patrick Peterson resurfaces for the 2022 season with the Vikings. He spoke openly about his desire to remain with the team for his 13th NFL season; It seemed possible that the eight-time Pro Bowler would return to Minnesota for 2023.
And on Monday, after agreeing to a two-year, $14 million deal with the Steelers, Pietersen had nothing but kindness to say Regarding talks with the Vikings that ultimately ended without a contract.
“It was all clean, nice, adult business, which is how it should have been,” Peterson said on his “All Things Covered” podcast. “Wasn’t a curveball. That’s how it should have happened, and I can’t do anything but appreciate it.”
Peterson’s podcast made him the first late Vikings player to speak at any length about the process by which the team led from an unexpected 13-win season. To hear Peterson tell it, his discussions with the Vikings were the kinds of engaging talks general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had. he said he wants With decorated veteran players whose time in Minnesota is coming to an end. Looking at how the Vikings fared over the last two weeks, it’s clear that even though the sentiment may make the bye coveted, it won’t delay them.
Vikings on March 6 released linebacker Hailing the performance and service of Eric Kendricks, former All-Pro linebacker and Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, while saving $9.5 million on the 31-year-old linebacker who struggled in pass coverage last year.
They Praised Adam Thielen’s unlikely story and unique place in Minnesota sports history on March 10, while absorbing $13.55 million in dead money on the 32-year-old’s contract rather than defray any costs.
Instead of keeping Peterson on the kind of deal he got from the Steelers — which basically amounted to a one-year contract with non-guaranteed money through 2024 — they came Same kind of fair settlement with Byron Murphy Jr.25-year-old former Cardinals corner who was once mentored by Peterson and may be more appropriate New defensive coordinator Brian Flores’ man coverage schemes pale in comparison to Peterson’s at this point in his career.
Pragmatism also governed the Vikings’ discussions with the veterans they hired. He recovered $6.7 million in salary cap space A restructured deal with Harrison Smith, betting the 34-year-old safety would be a better fit in Flores’ scheme after former coordinator Ed Dontel sanded most of the varsity from his role under Mike Zimmer. He also guaranteed linebacker Jordan Hicks’ base salary for this year, while reducing the 30-year-old’s cap number by $1.5 million. And instead of finalizing a long-term extension with quarterback Kirk Cousins, they add two more zero years to your deal Adofo-Mensah said he wanted relief at the QB position while maintaining flexibility.
Adofo-Mensah said on February 28, “It’s always going to be solution-oriented.” Four years later we will be able to laugh and enjoy the moments we spent together, appreciate them and just know that sometimes business comes up and there are different solutions that need to happen.
The Vikings’ approach in Adofo-Mensah’s second off season contrasted with the approach used during Rick Spielman’s final years, when the Vikings put off-ball linebackers like Anthony Barr and tight ends like Kyle Rudolph at premium cap numbers, while trying to win. An old rooster. The previous regime, true to its old-school qualities, at times seemed reluctant to part ways with the players. If Adofo-Mensah and coach Kevin O’Connell’s emphasis on culture and player empowerment invites a narrative that the two are overly hospitable, the results show they are not afraid to pass down harsh judgment on coaches (like dontail) or player quickly.
Adofo-Mensah said in the coalition, “It will be dry. It will be tough.” “So we get paid what we get, because I’m not always going to be the most liked person in the room. It just kind of works. However, I like being liked, so please do.” Don’t let this come the wrong way. These are tough decisions, great people, great human beings. We’re just continuing to have those conversations and we’ll see what we come up with.”
The Vikings’ biggest decision on the quarterback position is still to come, as they optioned zero years on Cousins’ deal for a longer, guaranteed deal. The 34-year-old is now set to become a free agent after the season. It’s possible the Vikings and Cousins could reunite for a new deal at that point, especially if Cousins finds the team the best option after showing interest from around the league.
Adofo-Mensah said at the combine that he did not want to force a quarterback into action as a rookie. If the Vikings wait until 2024 to draft a passer and don’t bring Cousins back next season, they could opt for a veteran bridge starter while their next QB is drafted. They will have cousins by 2023; If the durable starter’s sixth season in Minnesota is his last, the Vikings will be back at least briefly for a period of uncertainty at the position. For the time being, they appear willing to take a risk rather than make a deal that could provide guaranteed money through 2025, as Derek Carr’s contract with the Saints did.
Assessing risk was part of Adofo-Mensah’s job on Wall Street; It is a central part of his work with Vikings. But after a week that turned out to be great in Minnesota, it’s clear that GM wants to handle it thoughtfully, but it’s not trying to avoid it.