Eden Prairie, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer made it clear Wednesday that Adrian Peterson's only options are playing in Minnesota or retiring.
"He's really got two choices: He can either play for us or he can not play," Zimmer told the assembled media at offseason workouts. "He's not going to play for anyone else and that's just the way it's going to be."
Peterson issued a statement Wednesday night aimed at clarifying his absence from this week's organized team activities.
"The reason I'm not attending OTAs has nothing to do with wanting to be traded," Peterson said in the statement to ESPN's Josina Anderson. "It's about securing my future with the Vikings. It's business, not personal and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings."
Throughout the offseason, Peterson was linked to trade rumors and speculation about his future with the Vikings. Team officials have said they want Peterson to remain with the team.
Peterson was placed on the commissioner's exempt list last September after he was charged in Texas with hitting his 4-year-old son with a tree branch last May. After reaching a plea agreement in the case, Peterson was suspended by Goodell in November for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
The suspension was based on a more stringent player conduct policy that was agreed upon after the actions that led to the charges against Peterson.
Arguing that the new policy shouldn't be retroactively applied in Peterson's case, the union filed an appeal on behalf of the running back, which was denied by NFL-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson in December.
The union then filed a federal lawsuit, leading to a ruling by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty in February that ordered the NFL to change its decision in Peterson's case.
The NFL appealed the decision to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and returned Peterson to the commissioner's exempt list before reinstating him last month.
The 2012 NFL MVP has three years and $45 million left on his current deal, however, none of that money is guaranteed. Peterson is set to make a base salary of $12.75 million in 2015, $14.75 million in 2016 and $16.75 million in 2017.