Vikings lock up Adrian Peterson with massive deal

Less than two weeks after Chris Johnson commanded a huge contract extension from the Tennessee Titans, Adrian Peterson got his.

A day before the Minnesota Vikings will open the 2011 season, Peterson has been paid handsomely. The team announced a long-term contract extension for the All-Pro running back, one that will keep him in place for some time. According to Pro Football Talk, it’s a seven-year deal with a maximum value of $100 million. The deal reportedly includes $36 million guaranteed. No word yet on exactly how it’s structured, but there could be similarities with what Johnson received.

The NFP's Andrew Brandt has got an early look at key numbers in the deal. According to him, $32 million in the contract is fully guaranteed and another $4 million is guaranteed vs. injury. The deal calls for $40 million to be paid in the first three seasons and $52 million to be paid in the first four seasons.

“Adrian’s performances on the field have given fans so much excitement since he first joined us as a rookie,” Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement released by the team. “His talent and determination are remarkable and we are proud to have him be a part of the family for years to come. We are excited that in the past week we have been able to lock up Chad Greenway and Adrian for the long term. Both players have come up in our system and are the foundation to the future of the Vikings.”

With Peterson and Greenway in place, the biggest question surrounding the franchise now is where it will play in the near future. The club’s lease at the Metrodome expires after this season. The Vikings are showing a willingness to invest in their players. We’ll see where the stadium issue heads. For now, back to football.

“Adrian is, to me, the best running back in pro football and we’re happy to have him as a part of the organization for the long term,” Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said. “He’s a fan favorite and a great teammate. Adrian’s a guy we lean on when he’s on the field with the ball in his hand and as a leader in the locker room.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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