The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

January 7, 2013

Peterson, improved Vikings unsatisfied with season

(Continued)

EDEN PRAIRIE —

If fullback and fellow Pro Bowl pick Jerome Felton, one of 10 unrestricted free agents on this year's team, is re-signed then perhaps that milestone is in reach. The bruising blocking by Felton and a young offensive line on which none of the five starters missed a game had a lot to do with Peterson's success. After signing a one-year contract for a $700,000 salary, Felton said he'd rather not have to test the market again. He told general manager Rick Spielman as much on Monday.

"This is where I want to be," Felton said. "I told him that I want it to get done."

Right tackle Phil Loadholt is another one of the important players with expiring contracts.

"I'm going to keep my arms around him this offseason as well, just to make sure he's staying on top of his game and he's working out and he's doing the necessary things to make someone want to bring you back," Peterson said.

There are other positions that will be scrutinized this spring as the Vikings reshape their roster, with changes likely at least at wide receiver and linebacker. Quarterback Christian Ponder isn't going anywhere, but more improvement is mandatory after another up-and-down year. He said his decisions in the Dec. 2 game at Green Bay when he threw two devastating interceptions were the moments that still stung.

"To let my team down, that's what hurt the most," Ponder said.

Last week was painful, too, when a deep bruise in his triceps from a hit he took in the Dec. 30 win over the Packers prevented him from playing in the rematch at Lambeau Field on Saturday. His right arm was still badly discolored from the bruising on Monday. The flexibility and range of motion around the muscle was still returning.

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