Updated Sept. 11, 2011 @ 10:54 a.m. ET
Following big-money contracts for DeAngelo Williams, Frank Gore and Chris Johnson, the Summer of the Running Back continued on Saturday with its biggest deal yet.
The Vikings and RB Adrian Peterson have agreed to a new contract. The terms of the deal haven't been announced, though Pro Football Talk cited a league source that said the deal was for seven years and worth up to $100 million. Of that total, $36 million is reportedly guaranteed.
NFL.com reported that the contract will pay Peterson $40 million in upfront money in the first three years of the deal, compared to the $31 million that Chris Johnson will be paid under his new deal, according to an unnamed source.
Generally considered the best running back in the league, Peterson had been entering the final year of his contract. That won't be the case now, as the new deal ensures he will be wearing Vikings purple for the foreseeable future.
In four NFL seasons, Peterson has rushed for more than 5,700 yards and 52 touchdowns. He has made the Pro Bowl every year he's been a pro and holds the league's all-time single-game rushing record, having gained 296 yards against the Chargers in his eighth career game.
Peterson said, through the team, that he was very excited to remain a Viking.
"Today is an incredible day," Peterson said. "Minnesota's where I want to be and I'm excited to continue playing for you."
The way we see it
C.J. set the benchmark by agreeing to a four-year, $53 million deal with the Titans on Sept. 1, and now Peterson has apparently eclipsed it. The Vikings are going through a major rebuilding right now, but the team would have been completely devastated had Peterson been able to leave in free agency. Now, with its star runner under contract, Minnesota can remain competitive despite breaking in new players all across its offense.