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NFL Rumors: Latest Adrian Peterson Trade Rumblings and Contract Standoffs

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2015

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) is introduced before an NFL wildcard playoff football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The NFL draft and next season's schedule release are far from the only things to worry about thanks to trade rumblings and contract disputes between star players and their teams.

Adrian Peterson, of course, is the biggest name on the trade block right now, at least according to the rumblings.

Most expect the above. Perhaps more interesting are some of the names both big and small that are willing to sit out, perhaps even through the summer, in the hopes of landing a new contract.

Below, let's take a look at some of the hottest items on the rumor mill.

Antonio Brown's Hunt for a New Deal

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

One of the most invaluable players in the league to his team, wide receiver Antonio Brown holds all the cards in a potential holdout with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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It seems that he plans to put this leverage to good use by holding out in the hopes of getting a new contract, per Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

Steelers WR Antonio Brown seeking new deal. Won't attend offseason workouts, mulling holdout from minicamp, training camp, sources say.

Before folks paint Brown as a villain, understand the team did sign the former Central Michigan star to a five-year extension worth $42.5 million in the summer of 2012, per Spotrac.

One problem with those numbers—he's been one of the league's most productive receivers since and doesn't rank among the top 10 highest-paid wideouts:

SEASONGPRECTGTSYDSTD
201213661057875
2013161101651,4998
2014161291821,69813
ESPN

Yes, contract numbers get inflated when guys like Mike Wallace land $100 million before getting shipped away in exchange for a fifth-round pick, but so it goes when a team wants a top-tier wideout such as Brown to stick around.

Pittsburgh can end this before it gets rolling if they work out a new deal with Brown. A franchise in transition on both sides of the football looking to regain its footing as a contender can't afford to lose one of its best offensive players. 

Keep a close eye on this one.

The Browns and Tashaun Gipson

Oct 26, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns free safety Tashaun Gipson (39) reacts after making a stop against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns won 23-13. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sport
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Safety Tashaun Gipson of the Cleveland Browns is another star player who will hold out, at least for the next few days.

Many might read the above and become confused, so let's review—an undrafted free agent in 2012 out of Wyoming, Gipson was a bright spot for the Browns a year ago as one of the team's best defensive players.

In fact, he ranked as the No. 10 safety in the league last year at Pro Football Focus.

Per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, though, Gipson will avoid the team for now to better his financial situation: "Teams have until Friday to make Gipson an offer, and he'll likely stay home at least until that period is over -- and possibly longer. The choice to stay home is Gipson's, the source said."

As Cabot notes, the Browns hit Gipson with a second-round tender, which pays him $2.356 million next year unless he doesn't work out a longer agreement with the Browns. Another team can swoop in and sign him to a long deal as well, but Cleveland can match or take a second-round pick from the stealing team down the road.

The Browns ranked eighth against the pass and dead last against the rush a year ago. Retaining a Pro Bowl safety who led the conference in interceptions in each of the past two years is a good idea for the rebuilding unit, so expect Gipson to stick with the Browns one way or another.

Adrian Peterson's Trade Situation 

The clock surrounding Peterson's standoff with the Minnesota Vikings continues to tick.

The league reinstated Peterson last week, and since then, speculation continues to suggest the star back wants to start over with a new team. The Vikings, though, don't seem to be playing ball with that idea.

According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Vikings figure to keep Peterson unless a suitable deal comes to light during the NFL draft:

A source close to the situation believes that if disgruntled running back Adrian Peterson isn't traded before or during next week's NFL draft, the Vikings won't deal him to another team before the 2015 season.

The source said if the Vikings want to trade Peterson, they never will have more leverage than during the April 30-May 2 draft. The source said Minnesota could be able to entice a team once Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley, the two top backs in the draft, are off the board.

It was never easy to see the Vikings letting their best player walk. Peterson is 30 years old and still ran for 1,266 yards and 10 scores on a 4.5-yard-per-carry average in just 14 games in 2013.

Similar production despite a $15.4 million cap hit in 2015, per Spotrac, is worth every penny to the organization on the field if it helps sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater along.

It's tough to know just how interested the rest of the league will be in acquiring Peterson. Forget the financial cost, the surrendering of draft picks and players may cost too much for a player who appeared in just one game a season ago.

No matter how it plays out, though, Peterson's name is one to watch out for on draft day.

Stats courtesy of NFL.com and accurate as of April 20. All advanced metrics via Pro Football Focus.

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