Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson told ESPN he is "still uneasy" about the idea of returning to the team next season.
Peterson said he felt the organization working with the NFL to put him on the commissioner's exempt list in September was an "ambush" and made him question the support he has from the Vikings.
"There were people that I trusted, who knew exactly what was said, that weren't heard from [in the decision-making process]," he said.
"It shows you can have all the loyalty toward someone and toward an organization, a fan base, but when things really shift and it's you or the empire, they're gonna put you out on a leash."
Peterson, who sat out the final 15 games of last season following an indictment on child abuse charges, is currently serving an indefinite suspension. He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault and is eligible to apply for reinstatement on April 15. The NFLPA is suing the league to get him immediately reinstated.
Last week, owner and president Mark Wilf said he supports Peterson's return to the team. On Wednesday, Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman said he wants Peterson to return to in 2015 and expects the running back to be a Viking.
"I know there are a lot of people in the organization who want me back," he told ESPN. "But then again, I know the ones who don't. It's a difficult transition, and it's not just about me. I have a wife who was able to sit back and see how people in Minnesota said this and said that, how media in Minnesota took the head of the situation with my child, and were digging into things that weren't even relevant ... This came from the state I love so much, that I wish to bring a championship to? This is how they treat me when I'm down and out? You kick me? My wife [and I], we've had several conversations about me returning to Minnesota, what the best options are. If I left it up to her, I'd be somewhere else today, and that's with her weighing everything. It's a lot for me to weigh; she understands that. But there are some things that I'm still uneasy about."
Peterson is under contract with Minnesota for next season and is set to earn a $12.75 million base salary.
In his last full season, 2013, Peterson ran for 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns in 14 games.
- Molly Geary