The Minnesota Vikings have made their in-person pitch to Adrian Peterson, the latest step toward resolving the star running back's unclear status. Whether it's keeping him or turning to a trade, the Vikings will likely make up their minds soon about whether Peterson will continue his NFL career in purple. General manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer spent about four hours Wednesday afternoon at Peterson's home north of Houston. The NFL later suspended Peterson without pay under the personal conduct policy, a punishment supposed to be in effect through April 15.
Peyton Manning is taking one more shot at the silver trophy. Weeks of speculation about the five-time MVP's future ended Wednesday with word that he's returning for an 18th season in the NFL and fourth in Denver. A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Manning will take a $4 million pay cut, from $19 million to $15 million, but that he can make it all back through performance incentives.
The New Orleans Saints have notified veteran running back Pierre Thomas that he is being released after eight seasons with the club. Thomas' agent, Lamont Smith, confirmed the move Wednesday, while Thomas posted messages about the end of his playing days in New Orleans on social media. ''I want to thank the New Orleans Saints organization, all my coaches, my teammates and the Who Dat Nation for an amazing adventur,'' Thomas wrote on his Twitter page. I am thankful to have spent the past 8 years in the great city of New Orleans! ... All good things must come to an end but I'm not done yet!!!'' Thomas, 30, joined the Saints as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois in 2007 and was a key figure on offense in his third season, turning screen passes into pivotal touchdowns in both the NFC Championship game victory over Minnesota and in the Super Bowl triumph over Indianapolis.
The Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills agreed on a trade Wednesday that will send quarterback Matt Cassel to the Bills next week and give the Vikings extra draft picks. The Bills are sending two undisclosed draft choices to the Vikings and getting one undisclosed pick in the deal announced six days before NFL transactions can begin with the start of the new league year. The trade also wouldn't have been initiated had the Vikings not been confident in Teddy Bridgewater, the first-round draft pick who took over as the starter in the third game of last season after Cassel broke his left foot. Cassel spent two years with the Vikings, taking over in 2013 after Christian Ponder struggled to keep the job.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Eagles have released linebacker Trent Cole.
Prosecutors in the Massachusetts murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will not be allowed to introduce evidence about the shooting of a Hernandez friend in Florida a few months before the killing, a judge ruled Wednesday. Hernandez is on trial for the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. Before the trial began in January, the judge ruled that prosecutors would not be allowed to introduce evidence of the February 2013 shooting of Alexander Bradley. Bradley was at a Miami strip club with Hernandez and two others the night he was shot.
IRVING, Texas (AP) -- The Cowboys have re-signed restricted free agent Cole Beasley after the diminutive receiver emerged as a threat in the slot last season for Tony Romo.