- The Washington Times - Monday, June 10, 2019

Adrian Peterson may be happy to play for the Washington Redskins, but he wants to return up north when it’s time to retire.

In an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune that ran Monday, Peterson said he wants to return to the Minnesota Vikings when it’s time to retire.

That choice should not be a surprise. Peterson was drafted by the Vikings in 2007, starred there for 10 years and won NFL MVP as a Viking in 2012.

“This is where I started; this is where it’s going to come to an end, as well,” Peterson told the paper. “People ask me all the time, and they keep throwing me off, like, ‘Where would I retire? A Saint, a Cardinal or a Redskin?’ It’s like, ‘No, I’m going to retire a Viking.’ I was here a decade — some great memories, some everlasting friends. I’m just forever indebted to the state of Minnesota. I’ll definitely be retiring a Viking, for sure.”

Peterson’s time with the Vikings ended with a thud after the 2016 season, when Minnesota did not elect to pick up the team option in his contract. This came two-plus years after Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges, took a plea deal and was suspended for most of the 2014 season.

Peterson harbors no ill will with the Vikings.

“I believe I gave my heart to the state of Minnesota and my fans, anytime I stepped on the field,” he said. “It’s not like I left on bad terms, like we fell out. Things just didn’t work; they went their way, I went my way. It was just kind of mutually beneficial, for me and for them.”

The former superstar looked washed-up when he tried to play for the Saints and Cardinals in 2017, but then he resurrected his career in Washington. He ran for 1,042 yards, eighth-most in the NFL, as a 33-year-old last year and he figures to share carries with Derrius Guice in 2019.

Peterson signed a two-year deal this offseason to stay in Washington. At mandatory minicamp June 4, he cited the coaching staff and last year’s opportunity as reasons he decided to return to the Redskins.

“The states of Virginia and Maryland are showing so much love, as well,” Peterson said. “And the group of guys that I’m around. We [were] able to overcome a lot of stuff last year as far as injuries, but the thing that impressed me the most was how guys continued to fight.”

But when all is said and done, when Peterson eventually gets a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the first team name on the plaque will be the Vikings.

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