NFLPA reacts to NFL’s handling of Adrian Peterson

The NFLPA has issued a statement in response to the NFL’s decision to keep Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on the Commissioner-Exempt list now that his legal case has ended.  Drafted in a way that avoids overt accusations or obvious confrontation, the message residing between the lines is unmistakable — the union believes the league is treating Peterson unfairly.

“Our union worked with the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian’’s representatives on a mutual agreement pending the adjudication of his legal case,” the union said.  “Now that his legal matter is resolved, we believe it is Adrian’’s right to be treated in a manner that is consistent with similar cases under our collective bargaining agreement.  We will pursue any and all remedies if those rights are breached.”
In other words (and as a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT), the NFLPA believes the league has breached the agreement that Peterson will remain on the Commissioner-Exempt list pending resolution of his legal case.  The legal case has ended, and the NFL has refused to reinstate Peterson until after the NFL completes its review of the case under the personal conduct policy.
Apart from being a violation of the deal, it sends a clear message to the NFLPA and all players who find themselves in a similar situation in the future.  With the NFL and the Vikings desperate to come up with a way to keep Peterson off the field under circumstances in which neither the league nor the team could discipline him, the NFLPA and Peterson agreed to the use of the Commisioner-Exempt list until the legal case ends.  Now that the NFL has gotten what it wanted at a time when it had a high degree of urgency to secure an agreement from the union and the player, the NFL is reneging on its end of the bargain.
In future cases of this nature, then, the NFLPA and the player should refuse to agree to anything.  By violating Peterson’s deal, the NFL has shown that, on matters of this nature, it can’t be trusted.
That’s the most disappointing aspect of this.  The NFL made a deal and now won’t honor it.  At a time when the NFL has insisted that it will be getting its house in order, that’s not the way to do it.

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