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NFL notebook: Vikings’ Peterson feels love by hometown

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The Sports Xchange

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson felt the love when he was honored in his hometown of Palestine, Texas, on Saturday.

The ninth annual “Adrian Peterson Day” event came less than two weeks after Peterson returned to the Vikings.

Peterson missed all but the season opener last season after being indicted on child abuse charges in Texas. He bounced between the commissioner’s exempt list and the suspended list as his case played out legally and in the widely divided court of public opinion.

Peterson returned to the Vikings on June 2 for the second week of organized team activities.

On Saturday, Peterson was touched by the support that included a “Welcome Home! We Got Your Back!” banner.

“I guess it’s maybe a little different,” Peterson said Saturday. “Definitely get some more encouraging words — seeing the support. People, we’re out here still supporting, who never stop supporting you. Yeah, it’s a little different.”

Peterson walked past the sign with his wife and father to a gazebo decorated with Vikings purple in the center of Reagan Park to address the crowd.

“You know, home, man,” said Peterson, who was among family, friends and townspeople who watched his outstanding high school career in east central Texas. “So many people here, before the fame, that supported me. I remember being at Palestine High School, seeing both sides, home and visitor sides, packed. The people in Palestine supporting me throughout my career. It says a lot.”

Peterson’s visit to his hometown came during a break between the Vikings’ OTAs and the three-day minicamp starting Tuesday.

—Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl safety Tashaun Gipson signed his one-year tender agreement.

The team announced Friday evening that Gipson had signed the $2.356 million tender. He could become a free agent after the season.

Gipson, an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming three years ago, became the first Browns undrafted defensive player to make the Pro Bowl since Mike Johnson in 1991, after racking up six interceptions — a total that ranked second in the NFL — 52 tackles, eight passes defensed and a defensive touchdown. He missed five games with a knee injury that did not require surgery.

Gipson, unhappy that the Browns didn’t give him the first-round tender ($3.347 million), skipped the voluntary offseason workouts and worked out at home in Dallas. He wants a long-term deal, but he will join the Browns at mandatory minicamp starting Tuesday.

—Dez Bryant is threatening to miss the Dallas Cowboys’ regular-season opener unless he receives a long-term contract by July 15, according to an ESPN report.

If the Cowboys fail to sign the wide receiver to a contract before that date, he would have to play for a franchise tender offer of $12.823 million in 2015. That is the deadline for players with franchise tags to secure a new deal.

Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith used a similar tactic in 1993, holding out for the first two games of the season before he signed a new deal after Dallas lost its first two games.

According to ESPN, the Cowboys have not made an offer to Bryant since before the 2014 season when he switched agents from Eugene Parker to Tom Condon.

“I’m just not going to comment about that,” Condon said. “Our goal is still to get something done on a long-term basis by the deadline.”

Bryant has not participated in the Cowboys’ OTA workouts but did show up at one OTA practice session and has been a part of individual drills. The five-year veteran does not have to show up next week for the team’s mandatory minicamp because he is not officially under contract.

—The Detroit Lions claimed quarterback Garrett Gilbert off waivers from the New England Patriots and waived quarterback Anthony Boone.

Gilbert was released by the Patriots on Thursday to make room for quarterback Matt Flynn, an unrestricted free agent who played for the Green Bay Packers last season.

Gilbert, 23, was originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Southern Methodist.


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