Adrian Peterson is not happy with the Minnesota Vikings, who recently told him to suit up or retire, and he blasted them on Twitter, complaining about the lack of guaranteed contracts and the way players are locked in. And, though he made some good points, he’s really not in a position to complain.
Ok great two sided! Well why when one party decides … Mr. ? we wan't you to take a pay cut now or better yet flat out release you!
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) May 28, 2015
Basically, Peterson was angry that he had to honor his contract with the Vikings but that it wasn’t guaranteed the other way around. If the Vikings wanted to cut him or anyone else, they could do it, but he couldn’t leave the team on his own terms. He was frustrated that the teams had more power than the players.
He did clarify later that he wasn’t talking about the Vikings specifically, but about all teams, and he wished the Players Association had been able to negotiate and get guaranteed contracts in the NFL.
To some degree, Peterson has a point, in that guaranteed contracts would be nice for players. They’d also be horrible for owners and teams, so your opinion really just comes down to which side of the contract you’re on. Naturally, Peterson wants the contracts to be guaranteed just like the rest of the players, but the owners don’t want to give them out.
So it makes sense for him to push for those contracts, but some of his tweets seem to imply that he thinks he’s been wronged since he doesn’t have one. He tweeted about a challenge to free will. Again, in a way, he’s right. His free will has been taken away by that contract.
But, has it really been taken from him? No. He signed it away.
And that’s why Peterson’s in no position to complain. He presumably read the contract when it was put on the table before him. He knew it meant he’d be giving his freedom and his rights to the Vikings. In exchange, they’d offer him millions upon millions of dollars. And he signed it.
It’s a legal document. It’s binding. And you’re not forced to sign it.
In essence, he’s arguing about this at the wrong time. Of course he wishes the contract was more in his favor now because he wants more power, but he gave it away. The time to argue that isn’t now, it’s when he signed the contract in the first place.
If he really wanted nothing but a guaranteed contract, or the ability to jump ship whenever he wanted, he could have demanded it back then. He was the best running back in the league, he had a squeaky clean image at the time, and he was as productive as ever.
It doesn’t mean the Vikings would have given him one, as the current rules say they don’t have to. But, if he had said he wouldn’t play for anything but a guaranteed contract, he could have stuck to his guns. No one made him sign the contract he’s playing under now. That was his own free choice to make, and he made it.
You have to live with the decisions you make.
This isn’t to undermine his entire argument. Things are decidedly unfair for the players when compared to the owners. The players are constantly working to swing things in their favor. It’s hard to blame them; any player or employee would do the same, trying to benefit as much as possible.
It’s just that Peterson has messed all of this up by putting the blame on the NFL or the Vikings, when this is really all his own fault. He signed his signature and put himself in this position. He wanted the money the Vikings were offering and he gave up his freedom to choose where he wants to play to get it, and now he’s learning just what that means.