Vikings camp begins
MANKATO, Minn. — At least the question of one Viking superstar's presence in training camp was settled on Friday.
With a smile on his face and a helmet on his head, Adrian Peterson joined the Minnesota Vikings for the first day of training camp determined to put two troubling issues behind him — his problems holding on to the football and his decision to skip a mandatory minicamp back in June.
The Vikings opened training camp on Friday, the first time Peterson has been in uniform with the team since early June. The star running back angered coach Brad Childress later in the month when he blew off the mandatory minicamp to attend Adrian Peterson Day festivities in his hometown of Palestine, Texas.
He also spent almost all the offseason working out in Houston rather than at the Vikings facility, a change from his first three years in the NFL. That led some to speculate that he was unhappy with his contract, which will pay him about $19 million over the next two years if he hits all of the deal's escalators.
"I'm happy with my contract," Peterson said. "I'm here in training camp working out and getting ready for the season. That's my focus."
Childress, who didn't hide his disappointment when asked about it in June, said the two met and aired out their differences. He called the issue "water under the bridge" and staunchly defended Peterson when questions of his fumbling came up at his press conference.
"Adrian Peterson is a tremendous football player," Childress said.
The opening of camp was Friday at Minnesota State University, Mankato, was the traditional flurry of players arriving and fans seeking autographs. And with Peterson's presence, fans turn their attention to when quarterback Brett Favre might make his appearance.