Adrian Peterson is expected to plead no contest to one count of misdemeanor reckless assault at his hearing this afternoon.
The deal would still need to be accepted by the presiding judge, but it seems unlikely the judge would deny the two sides their agreed resolution. Under the proposed deal, Peterson would:
- Pay a $2,00 fine.
- Be placed on probation.
- Ordered to preform 80 hours of community service.
- Have his adjudication deferred two years, meaning the plea deal could be thrown out if he violates any probation guidelines set forth in the next two years.
As for Peterson, the agreement means the felony charge would be reduced to a misdemeanor, and the amended charge would make no reference to family violence or violence against a minor. Previously, Peterson faced the possibility of up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine under the felony charge.
As we mentioned yesterday, Peterson isn’t out of the woods yet. Although his legal issues may soon be resolved, Peterson still has be reinstated by Commissioner Roger Goodell and welcomed back by the Vikings.
There was also the issue of Peterson admitting to smoking pot, but according to ESPN it’s going to be difficult to prove whether he smoked marijuana before or after he was given his bond conditions.
Even though his legal issues appear to be coming to an end, we stand by yesterday’s prediction that Peterson will not suit up for the Vikings the rest of the way. The team is on a bye this week before they enter the final seven-game stretch to end the year. Peterson is probably still near game shape and certainly still has knowledge of the offense, but the biggest thing working against him is the Ray Rice situation and the public perception of domestic and child abuse.
Ray Rice was suspended for the remainder of the year and cut by the Ravens after video surfaced of him punching his now-wife Janay Parker. Many voiced their displeasure in Roger Goodell after the commissioner only initially suspended Rice for two games, and the Ravens only released Rice after mounting backlash from the video. Rice’s incident has led to two common themes:
1. The NFL has decided to take a harsher stance against violent offenders, as they instituted a six-game suspension for incidents of domestic violence. They also don’t want the public perception of being lenient on crime.
2. Teams need walk a tight line between distancing themselves from violent offenders and wanting to win. Nobody doubts that Peterson gives the team the best chance to win, but at 4-5, the team may decide distancing themselves from Peterson will do more good than hoping he can guide them to a 6-1 or 5-2 record in the final seven games. The last thing the team wants is to hurt its public image and miss the playoffs.
Final verdict – We still think it’s a long shot that Peterson will play this season.