“All Day” is a great nickname for the beast that is Adrian Peterson. I don’t think it’s supposed to relate to how long his Twitter rants should be though. Dude has been full of piss and vinegar for the past 17 hours, tweeting about how unfair the NFL is toward its players. I guess AP was unaware of this fact until recently? He might have needed to pick up a magazine, read a blog, or I don’t know….talk to former players! The NFL isn’t a level playing field and never has been.
Peterson is taking an interest in the fairness of the League now that he is affected by it personally. I can imagine the guy paid very little attention a few years ago when the NFL was in court as the class action concussion lawsuit unfolded. The Vikings running back was likely busy working on those biceps or on a hog hunt
NFL players are no different than average folks who don’t pay attention to problems until they are directly affected. That time is now for AP.
Peterson’s Twitter rant can be summed up simply. He doesn’t like the perception that he is a bad guy for not wanting to honor his current contract, while NFL teams are constantly changing the deals by cutting guys or pressuring them to take less money. Peterson tweeted “I love people who think they know it all! Smh, Research how many NFL teams hasn’t honored a player’s contract & learn something.” He is absolutely correct. Teams can cut a guy whenever they want and will do so in a heartbeat if they see he can no longer perform at the level he is being compensated. I guess AP was getting flack for wanting to change his current deal to get more guaranteed money.
Peterson continued “All I’m saying as a Minnesota Viking player! WE need the same power to do as all 32 teams do we they feel, under contract or not!” It would be great if the players had the same power, but clearly they don’t. The NFL’s player union is the weakest among the major sports, which is ironic as the NFL generates more money than MLB or the NBA.
NFL players don’t get the kind of guaranteed money that baseball or basketball players get because of the greater risk of injury in football. So these players are never going to have the power that Adrian Peterson desires. His union has had plenty of opportunities over the years to get better deals for its player members. Those opportunities always end the same way, with the owners on top.
I get where Peterson is coming from. I am a player guy. I’ve seen this hypocrisy play out for years. A player goes to a new team and he is villainized by his former fans. But those same fans are quick to forgive their organization for shipping off former greats once they lose a step or two. My problem with Peterson is that he has waited too late to care about this unfair career he chose. Everything was fine until it became apparent that he has a shelf life just like any other athlete. Once his ability falls below a certain level he will get the Ole Yeller treatment out behind the practice facility. I’m sure this is hard on a freakishly athletic guy like AP who has used his body to earn millions and had everyone around him tell him how great he is daily. Now he can see the end of the line and it’s not pretty. He knows he is expendable and his ego is taking it hard.
AP went on to tweet, “This is not against the Vikings. I am just frustrated that our union did not get guaranteed contracts for its players.” The players are the union! They could have decided to not play while a better deal was crafted. Roger Goodell didn’t hold a gun to anyone’s head and make them go along with the last collective bargaining agreement. The NFL ballers willingly marched themselves right off that plank. They could have refused the deal and not played anymore until they had that mythical deal that involved guaranteed contracts for all. That would have meant not playing ball for quite a while and of course no game checks. Not getting paid for any length of time stops any real change the players could make. Most of these guys have huge house payments and couldn’t afford to miss many checks at all, just like the average American.
Peterson may make a small ripple with his stance against “The Man,” but it won’t matter much in the end. He should have been concerned with guaranteed money many years ago. But like the average Joe he just got caught in the momentum of life. He signed deals just like players before him, only seeing the big dollars attached. Now toward the end of his best playing days he got hit in the face with the reality of the situation. He is a cog in the wheel of the NFL machine. Once he is gone the League will do fine without him. He could retire today and would be remembered fondly as a great player. But the game wouldn’t suffer for long, the League’s popularity would not decline, and there will be another running back that creates the same buzz that AP once did.
If Adrian Peterson feels as strongly as he sounds on Twitter then he really should consider retirement. Maybe play out next year to get that last 12 million dollars and walk away from an unfair career. He could spend the rest of his working life trying to get better compensation for future NFL players. That won’t pay very well though so he will have to downgrade his lifestyle a bit. Of course that’s not going to happen. The money is too good as an NFL star and he will try to get every last dollar until he is told to go away for good.
I wish that players like Adrian Peterson could get guaranteed contracts that were not one sided in favor of the owners. The only way for that to happen is total commitment by the union to not play anymore until that deal is put on the table. Players can’t go without money long enough to break the owners’ will so that is simply impossible. The only thing players can do is educate themselves about the system they are jumping into. They can’t wait until they are in the position of an Adrian Peterson to start complaining about a career for which they willingly signed up. If they know what’s in store in the NFL, maybe they need to choose a different sport early on before college, or at least plan for the inevitable….they will not be an NFLer forever.