A day after announcing the immediate reinstatement of Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings took a change of stance and placed the running back on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission List late Tuesday night.
This is effectively an agreement between Peterson and the Vikings that removes him from all team activities but allows him to remain on payroll, collecting his $700,000 per week salary, for the remainder of his legal process.
The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) released a statement about the situation on Wednesday stating, “Adrian Peterson made a decision to take a voluntary leave with pay to take care of his personal and legal issues. The NFLPA and NFL worked with Adrian and the Minnesota Vikings to resolve this unique situation. We support this decision and hope the best for him and his family."
The legal process could go well beyond Peterson's October 8th court date, jeopardizing, but not eliminating, his chances of returning to the field this season.
And, because Peterson makes $4 million more this season than the next highest paid running back ($11,750,000 to LeSean McCoy's $7,650,000 according to spotrac.com), the Vikings are reportedly considering terminating Peterson's contract and parting ways with the 2012 MVP.
The Vikings lost Minnesota-based Radisson Hotels as a sponsor and Peterson lost his contract with Castrol Motor Oil over the child abuse allegations. Nike, Peterson's other main sponsor, suspended his contract on Wednesday morning after pulling his jerseys from the racks in Twin Cities stores.
The NFL is embroiled in a war of public perception based on the way Roger Goodell and league officials are dealing with Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and now Peterson's violence and abuse scandals.
Remember, as much as fans would like to believe this is about the NFL taking a moral stance, it's all about the money.