Adrian Peterson can be traded, released or have his deal restructured after March 10.
That makes his continued exile on the commissioner's exempt list slightly less odious, as, at least in theory, Peterson can get his 2015 roster status resolved. The Vikings issued another statement of support on Thursday, but most signs continue to point toward a divorce. Of course, if Peterson remains in legal limbo on March 10, league-wide interest will be tempered if he's cut loose or on the trade block. As of now, the league's appeal in federal court can't be heard before April. The NFLPA can request an expedited hearing, while arbitrator Harold Henderson could also bring the saga to a resolution.
The NFL is appealing independent arbitrator David Doty's ruling in the Adrian Peterson case to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and will keep Peterson on the commissioner's exempt list in the interim.
The case will also concurrently be returned to arbitrator Harold Henderson, who originally upheld Peterson's suspension in December. If this all seems dense and confusing, it's because it is. There's no telling how much longer Peterson will remain in limbo. The league seems more concerned with precedent than whether Peterson was fairly punished. It certainly doesn't care about Peterson's 2015 status, which will be greatly complicated if the matter isn't resolved by the time free agency begins on March 10.
ESPN's Nick Wagoner reports the "door is open" for free agent Kendall Langford to return to the Rams at a reduced salary, but that he'll "seek a starting job first."
Langford was set to make $6 million, far too steep for the Rams after rookie sensation Aaron Donald took Langford's starting job last season. Langford has experience in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes. He shouldn't hurt for suitors, but a starting job isn't a guarantee.
Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reports Peyton Manning's restructured contract could create as much as $7-$9 million in cap space.
The most-likely scenario would be turning a huge chunk of Manning's $19 million 2015 salary into a "signing bonus" that could be prorated over the next two seasons. A voidable year for 2017 could also be added. Cole speculates Manning will push for the Broncos to re-sign Julius Thomas with the savings.
Rams released DT Kendall Langford.
The move clears $6 million in cap space. Signed to a four-year, $24 million deal in March 2012, Langford was a 16-game starter in 2012 and 2013, but was benched in favor of Aaron Donald last season. He played just 494 snaps, managing one sack. Still only 29, Langford has experience at defensive end. That versatility and relative youth should earn him some guaranteed money on the open market.
Cardinals re-signed OT Bradley Sowell to a one-year contract.
Sowell was slated to be a restricted free agent. A fourth-year undrafted free agent, Sowell appeared in all 16 games last season, but played zero snaps on offense. He'll fight for one of the Cardinals' final roster spots in camp.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports the league will appeal independent arbitrator David Doty's decision in the Adrian Peterson case.
Naturally. Instead of simply allowing everyone to move on with their lives, the league will continue its quest for absolute victory. Doty ruled the NFL cannot retroactively apply its new domestic-violence policy, but the league apparently believes he overstepped his bounds. It's a typical NFL scandal, with a maze of confusion and lawsuits. It could be a few more weeks before we finally have a resolution.
New Rams QBs coach Chris Weinke says Sam Bradford is the second-best quarterback he's ever evaluated coming out of college.
That's behind only Andrew Luck. We're obviously not concerned with Weinke's draft evaluations, but the more Rams coaches talk up Bradford, the more apparent it becomes he's going to remain in St. Louis.