by Max Carter
Emerging from a pile of controversy and difficulty for his family, All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson may return to the National Football League before the season’s end.
Peterson reached a plea deal on Nov. 4 penalizing him only $4,000 and 80 hours of community service, closing the domestic violence case that surfaced in September. Since the charges arose, Peterson has been very transparent about the situation, which is likely a big reason for his fairly soft plea deal.
What we can take away from this is the way that Peterson has handled the situation. In a time for the NFL that seems to be lacking accountability and integrity, Peterson has scored the biggest touchdown of his career with this plea deal, affirming the professionalism and character that Peterson has always exemplified.
Amid the obvious evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence case, I don’t think I was alone in hoping this was just an unfortunate, exceptional scenario. Peterson, who has professed nothing but love for his children since being accused, explained in multiple statements that he was punishing his son the same way that he was punished as a child. There is always a question of truth in situations like this, but if you have followed Adrian Peterson at all the past several years, you would have no reason to assume him a liar.
Not only has this situation been good for the NFL’s reputation, but it may be good for you fantasy football managers too. Peterson has been on the Commissioner’s exempt list since Sept. 17, missing eight games and nine weeks of the season. The NFL Player’s Association filed a grievance with the NFL on Nov. 10 to have Peterson removed from the exempt list.
According to a quote in an article on NBCSports.com written by Michael David Smith, the NFLPA has a strong case. The NFLPA claims that “a signed agreement dated September 18, 2014,” states terms that should allow Peterson to be removed from the list. It will be interesting to see how this grievance plays out, but it seems very feasible that Peterson could be removed from the list and reinstated into the NFL within the next week or two.
According to the NFL, there is no timetable for determining Peterson’s immediate future in the NFL. Regardless of the outcome, Peterson has given all NFL fans a breath of fresh air in a season polluted with violence and poor decision making. He handled the case like a professional, mature adult, and unlike other violent Pro-Bowl running backs (not to name names), pleaded no contest to the charges that they knew were true.
I certainly hope that Peterson is able to return to the NFL soon, because he looks a lot better in my starting lineup than on my bench in fantasy football. But in all seriousness, this is a good man, with a good record, who made a bad decision based on how he was raised. Hopefully for everyone, this matter can be resolved so Peterson can continue his Hall of Fame career.
Contact Max Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org