By: Michael Hanley
The NFL has officially reinstated Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
The roller-coaster ride that has been for the Vikings star running back finally stopped to a halt as he now is free to go back and focus on rebuilding his playing career that has looked like at one point might not get started again in full. There are though strings attached to this second chance he is receiving from the league, as outlined in the letter NFL commissioner Roger Goodell layed out (via Marty Gitlin, CBS Sports):
“ongoing program of counseling and treatment as recommended by medical advisors.” It added that any violation of the program could result in his suspension without pay or banishment from the NFL.
That is a very strong and firm set of requirements that Goodell has put on Peterson to abide by and continue to make sure he accomplishes. It does send the message to others who even think about committing the actions of what Peterson did that you will be punished and will suffer greatly in your playing career at the expense of a mistake in your personal life.
The crux of this whole saga centered around Peterson being brought up on charges of physically abusing his four year old son. In mid-November of 2014, the NFL suspended him without pay, citing he had violated the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. He eventually pleaded no contest to those charges in a Texas state court. A firestorm ensued throughout this whole period on him and his family as the media looked through every shred of detail they could find on Peterson, his family, friends etc. to try and add more to this story.
Peterson seems as if he has has been humbled by this whole process that has seen him cast in a light that is far from flattering or positive. Now will lead this to him being a changed man for the long term? Only time will tell for us to get that answer. More importantly, it will be the approach to which he conducts himself off the field that will really tell the story if he can full regain the public image which was battered by his mistakes.
Peterson has compiled a very sterling career on the field, totaling 10,190 career yards so far and still is poised to have some more productive years ahead of him. Their has been some question as to what uniform he will be continuing his career in. Rumors have persisted that he would be traded by the Vikings to a team like the Cardinals, Cowboys etc.
Minnesota meanwhile has kept to their stance of not trading Peterson anywhere and keeping him in Minnesota. He is still under contract with them and plan to continue to feature him as one of their star players to showcase. Their is still some mending of the fences to be done between Peterson and the Vikings brass, but that is something now that both sides can start to look to fix and find a common ground with one another on.
Though this whole ordeal has made a lasting impact on Peterson and the NFL, he now can start a new chapter of his life and playing career, one that seeks him a return to normalcy with peace off the field and success on the field.