Is Adrian Peterson really getting reinstated by the NFL?

Sports Illustrated's Peter King reports Adrian Peterson is "likely (but not certain) to be reinstated next week."

Peterson's appeal was heard this week, and it's now in the hands of league appeals officer, Harold Henderson. Henderson has rarely, if ever, sided with the player, so it'd come as a surprise to see Peterson win, especially after it was reported earlier in the week that the NFLPA wasn't confident about Peterson winning the appeal. If Peterson wins, it will then be the Vikings' call whether to activate him for Week 15. It's a true toss-up at this point.

Whatever support Adrian Peterson may have thought he had with NFL's executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent was gone when Adrian called Troy a "liar." It didn't help matters when Peterson skipped the disciplinary meeting on November 14. Adrian was suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on November 18.

Peterson claims to have an audio recording of a phone call in which Vincent (acting on behalf of the NFL) promised that the league would only discipline AP based on the old, weak pre-Ray Rice player conduct policy.
Instead, Peterson says he got much harsher discipline -- he was suspended without pay by the NFL until at least April 2015. Peterson's team says the ban is completely unfair and conflicts with what he was told by Vincent.

Troy Vincent said abuse was a "way of life" in his home when he was growing up because his mother was beaten. Troy was speaking at the Senate Commerce Committee hearing in Washington, DC. His testimony was applauded by Sen. Jay Rockefeller(D-WV), who told Vincent his testimony was "a good beginning." Rockefeller added that "the leagues have done little or nothing in response" when players have been charged or convicted for domestic violence.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton was an outspoken critic of the Minnesota Vikings' initial response to allow Adrian Peterson to continue playing during the criminal justice system process. Mark called Adrian Peterson, "a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the state of Minnesota."

Having spearheaded the efforts for a new $1 billion stadium for the Minnesota Vikings in conjunction with Ziggy Wilf, owner of the team, Mark Dayton's voice shall be heard. Minnesota taxpayers are contributing close to 50% of the costs for the new downtown stadium to the sum of $508 million.

If Peterson is granted reinstatement, I wouldn't expect a pardon from the governor. April 15, 2015 would be the earliest Adrian could return to the playing field.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

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