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PETERSON

Vikings' Peterson: Ruling 'brings me one step closer'

The Sports Xchange

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) talks on the sidelines during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis, Minnesota in this file photo from December 14, 2013. (REUTERS/Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY/Files)

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) talks on the sidelines during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis, Minnesota in this file photo from December 14, 2013. (REUTERS/Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY/Files)

A day after winning his appeal against the NFL, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said Friday that the decision by Judge David Doty "brings me one step closer to getting back on the football field."

On Thursday, Doty granted a petition to vacate the indefinite suspension handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The NFL then appealed the decision and returned Peterson to the commissioner's exempt list.

"I was pleased to learn about Judge Doty's decision," Peterson said in a written statement Friday. "It is a positive step in protecting players' rights and preserving due process for all players. It also brings me one step closer to getting back on the football field and playing the sport I love.

"As I prepare for my return to football, I am still focused on my family and continue to work to become a better father every day. I want to express my gratitude for all of the support I have received from the fans, NFLPA, Jeffrey Kessler, and my agents Ben Dogra, Tracy Lartigue, and Mark Heligman from Relativity Sports."

Peterson was initially placed on the commissioner's exempt list in September, when Peterson was charged with abusing his 4-year-old son in Texas.

Peterson avoided jail time, pleading no contest to reckless assault on Nov. 4, and Goodell suspended Peterson for the rest of the 2014 season for a violation of the personal conduct policy.

Under guidelines Goodell established, Peterson would not have been eligible for reinstatement until April 15.

Peterson said Feb. 6 he felt like he "got a fair hearing" in Minneapolis, where he presented his argument to Doty. At the time, Peterson said he wanted to stay with the Vikings, but he made no mention of the Vikings on Friday.

Peterson has three years remaining on his contract. He is owed $12.75 million next season.

His agent, Ben Dogra, had an altercation with chief contract negotiator Rob Brzezinski at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last week when Dogra reportedly told the Vikings that Peterson was done in Minneapolis. Reports had surfaced that Peterson was not fully comfortable returning to the team.

Peterson told friends that he felt "betrayed" by the Vikings, according to reports. However, Peterson's father said last week that he would not rule out a return to the team.

In the meantime, the NFL is appealing Doty's ruling and has placed Peterson back on the exempt list, where he spent most of the 2014 season.

In a written statement Thursday, the NFL said: "We believe strongly that Judge Doty's order is incorrect and fundamentally at odds with well-established legal precedent governing the district court's role in reviewing arbitration decisions. As a result, we have filed notice of appeal to have the ruling reviewed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the interim, Adrian Peterson will be returned to the Commissioner Exempt List pending further proceedings by appeals officer Harold Henderson or a determination by the Eighth Circuit Court."


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