|ADRIAN PETERSON Five years, $40.5m|
Running back Adrian Peterson agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings yesterday, ending the seventh overall draft pick's three-day holdout.
Peterson signed a five-year, $40.5 million deal with $17 million in guaranteed money and is expected to be in pads for the team's practice this morning, meaning he will have missed five training camp sessions.
The Vikings are looking for Peterson to infuse an offense with some much-needed balance. Last year's unit set franchise lows for first downs and touchdown passes, while opposing defenses stacked the box to try to stop Minnesota's only real threat, running back Chester Taylor.
Now Taylor, who rushed for 1,214 yards last season but wore down late in the year as he approached 300 carries, has some help in what could be one of the league's best backfield tandems.
At 6 feet 1 inch and 220 pounds, Peterson has a rare combination of size and blazing speed. He rushed for 4,045 yards in three years at Oklahoma despite missing seven games last season with collarbone and ankle injuries. He also was slowed by injuries for much of his sophomore season.
The Vikings have conducted extensive medical testing on Peterson's collarbone and determined this spring that he did not need surgery. Coach Brad Childress and team doctors have said he would be ready for full contact by training camp, and now Peterson will get the chance to show it.
The Bills, who acquired a draft pick in return, dropped a player who refused to report to the team in a contract dispute. The Bills obtained Walker in March in a trade that sent linebacker Takeo Spikes and backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb to Philadelphia.
Walker, however, refused to report until the team renegotiated the remaining two years on his contract. He was scheduled to make $1.3 million this year and $1.4 million in 2008.
General manager Marv Levy said the draft pick the Bills receive will depend on Walker's playing time in Chicago this season.
The Bills would've been forced to return Walker to Philadelphia in exchange for a sixth-round pick if the player had not reported by Aug. 5.
Walker's agent, Albert Irby, said his client was eager to join the Bears and planned to negotiate a new contract.