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The NFL trade deadline passed Tuesday with Adrian Peterson staying put as activity across the league remained mostly quiet.
The Vikings, at 1-6, were no exception.
Walker, in an interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, said trading Peterson at any point would be a mistake.
“It would be an insult,” Walker told the newspaper. “Adrian has done so much for the Vikings that, unless he asks for a trade, then that would be insulting.”
Peterson has rushed for 571 yards through the Vikings’ first seven games this season, putting him on pace for 1,305 yards. That’s 170 yards fewer than his career average but a far cry from the 2,097 yards he amassed a year ago, when he returned from ACL surgery to post one of the best seasons in NFL history, falling 8 yards short of Eric Dickerson‘s single-season record set in 1984 with the Los Angeles Rams.
“He’s played his heart out,” Walker said. “He came back from that knee injury. They can build the team back up.”
Walker also reflected on the 1989 blockbuster deal he anchored that included 18 players and draft picks.
“I don’t think a trade like that will ever happen again. I think Jerry Jones was very smart in doing that,” Walker said, referring to the longtime owner and general manager of the Cowboys, who host the Vikings on Sunday. “It was an incredible deal. But I don’t think in today’s game it could happen because there were so many players involved and the amount of players now is so important, the way the salary cap is.”
Walker, a two-time Pro Bowler — in the two seasons before the trade — contended he deserved a spot in Canton after a career in which he gained 8,225 rushing yards over 12 seasons.
“Without a doubt in my mind, I should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Walker told the Pioneer Press. “You look at my stats without my USFL stats, and I don’t know how you can argue with that. Look at my combined yards. I’m not one to make excuses, so I’ll play by their rules and not even count the USFL stats.”