Posted by Josh Katzowitz
You know who’s really happy about Chris Johnson’s new mega-extension (the four-year, $53.5 million deal with $30 million of guaranteed money that we told you about earlier? Yes, Chris Johnson, of course.
But the second-happiest person might be Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson. Last week, the Vikings press corps asked Peterson about Johnson’s holdout in Tennessee. “Pay the man,” Peterson said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Now that the Titans have, Peterson is set to cash in as well. Probably at an even higher rate.
Peterson, who was the highest-paid back in the NFL before Johnson inked his new deal, will make $10.72 million in this, his contract year. But Peterson obviously wasn’t in a hurry to sign a new deal without seeing what Johnson agreed to first. Now that Johnson has set a new standard among running backs and with Peterson set to be a free agent after the 2011 season, Peterson likely will look at Johnson’s guarantee and go even higher.
As the newspaper writes, “Peterson is in perpetual competition with Johnson. He hates it when people say or even suggest Johnson is the league's best running back. The Vikings could let Peterson play out the final year of his contract at $10.72 million this season and then stick the franchise tag on him for about $12 million next season. That would save money, but that also comes a likely giant mess.”
Mostly because it would upset Peterson.
And with a new franchise quarterback in Christian Ponder set to take over the team, and considering Peterson is still only 26 and probably has a few more productive years left in his body, the Vikings don’t have much of a choice. They’re going to have to pay him, and they’re going to have to pay him well.
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