If you haven’t heard already the Vikings have decided not to pick up Adrian Peterson’s contract for the 2017 season making him a free agent and begging the question where will he end up?
Despite his latest injury and concerning age, AP is still regarded as one of the best and most potent running backs in the league and rightly so.
In his 10 seasons in which he has played 123 games Peterson has run nearly 12,000 yards and 97 touchdowns. Out of those 10 seasons he has played less than four games in two of them and has battled back from injury, most notably an ACL tear and running for 82 yards and two touchdowns in his first game back as well as almost single-handedly, getting the Minnesota Vikings in to the play offs four times.
But the Vikings have declined to renew his contract despite prioritising their O-Line during this off-season. Now AP is free to test the waters and there are plenty of teams out there who need to work on their running game but here are five teams he is likely to go to or would fit nicely into.
Imagine it, a Brett Farve-style move over the state line to Wisconsin, only this one brings success! Revenge is a dish best served cold and boy is is cold at Lambeau field.
It’s no real secret that, amongst other things, the Packers could really do with a run game. Eddie lacy came and went, James Starks just went, Ty Montgomery did well but couldn’t decide if he was a RB or a WR and was pretty average at both. The only glimmer of hope has been Christine Michaels who left Seattle and did a good job at Green Bay.
The most attractive part of this though is the combination of Rodgers and Peterson. We have seen what Aaron Rogers can do without a running game. Now think about what the threat of Peterson will do. If the opposition comes up to stop the run, Rodgers can just throw it down the field. If the Defence hang back, Peterson will get them on the ground. It’s a lose lose!
It would be good, but would it be likely? I’m 50/50 on this. The Packers may need a running back but I think they’ll get one at the right price. When you sign with Green Bay you’re guaranteed a play off birth so in that respect if they thought drafting a running back would be better then any one of them would be happy to go there!
New York Giants
Oh yeah, this is exactly what they need.
Once again, it’s well documented the struggles that the Giants have with getting the run game going. Shane Vereen, Rashad Jennings, Bobby Rainey, Paul Perkins all tried and failed this season and any Giants fan that makes a case for Perkins is just delusional. Cutting Cruz has freed up space in the wages cap and Odell must be desperate to not be the only super star on the team (On a purely game day, less coverage, less attention on the field-kinda basis, obviously off the field he can’t get enough).
I would also look at the timeline of Eli Manning and compare it with Adrian Peterson. They have a maximum of five years left, three at prime. Giants haven’t made it a secret that they are looking into quarterbacks in this and the 2018 Draft and this guy may be the key to unlock the only bragging right Eli could ever have over his older brother, Super bowl wins.
With Peterson’s tweet aside, there is something going on at the Giants, Ben Macadoo came in and has brought the ability to close matches which is something that Coughlin couldn’t do in 2015. The axing of Cruz also makes sense as that knee injury hit him hard and although he made several important plays for the Giants last year, the statistics in the cold light of day showed that he was not the same player that won super bowl XLVI. They clearly want a Super Bowl ring and soon.
Again, AP could be the missing piece of the puzzle that Detroit have been trying to figure out for five years.
I think the Packers have shown how much they take for granted in the division they are in. Bears are nowhere to be seen and historically the Vikings and Lions haven’t been good enough either. But in recent years the competition has stepped up and each year the numbers teams draw closer together.
A prime example of this was the season just gone. Admittedly the Vikings tailed off in spectacular fashion but the Lions kept the pace and, if it was not for a rough final three games against the Giants, Cowboys and Green Bay, the Lions could have ended up playing the Seahawks at Ford Field instead of facing the twelves in Seattle.
Matthew Stafford also had a great year last year, despite it mainly coming in the fourth quarter, and their run game wasn’t that bad either. It just wasn’t as good as they need it to be to win. Abdullah is rough around the edges but Tate, Ebron and Boldin got it done for Detroit. Bearing in mind that Abdullah is still in his early twenties, Peterson’s experience and coaching could be the most valuable thing that he would bring to the Detroit offence.
What!? Why get rid of Zeke? Simple really… don’t.
This is the perfect situation for both parties involved, especially AP. Jerry Jones has been searching for a Superbowl ring for too long now. The confusion around who is number one quarterback may be a nice one to have but at the end of the day stability is one of the key components when going for the ultimate prize in football.
I’d argue that for a maximum of three years the Cowboys run with Romo and Peterson with Dak as an inevitable back up. Then you’d have Romo at the helm of one of the best O-lines in the league with The rookie of the year and second best rusher of the season in Zeke not to mention a receiving core of Jason Witten, Cole Beasley and that other guy… what’s his name? Oh, Mr. Dez Bryant.
I don’t think that Peterson is looking to join a franchise to be the star player for the next five years, frankly he’ll be lucky is he gets three out of those 31-year-old legs. What Peterson is looking for is success and, ironically, it is these brink-of-play offs/not quite super bowl contender teams that need quality in the run game. Not to mention the rumours that Jerry would be willing to pay anything for him.
They miss Marshawn, it’s as simple as that.
You may read and say ‘Seattle!? Really!? They have Rawls’. Well Rawls
was far from the finished article when he was handed the reins but despite him taking on an injury and had a good season, notably a great game against Carolina on Sunday Night Football. You’d think that he needs to take on a bit more advise before coming in and being a number one rusher.
He has a lot of raw talent but what Peterson may be able to do is take that and give him the ability to read players and get out of a situation. One of AP’s biggest draws is his all-round ability to get yards where there are no yards to get which is highly sought after.
In 2016 the Seahawks battled through with Rawls, Michaels and Promise and still managed 3.9 yards per carry. I don’t think that Seattle will pay him as much but, again, I get the feeling AP is ok with the decision by Minnesota because he can now test the waters and go to a team capable of winning a Superbowl.
There are a few other teams in the mix, Indy, New England, Bucs, Broncos but I think these are unrealistic. Indy have Frank Gore and it’s the O-line doing the damage rather than the opposition. New England won’t pay, sure they’ll go to back to back Superbowls but I can’t see Belichick going for it. The Bucs have a wealth of rushers and their mentality at the moment is build for the future, not get a quick fix to get into the play offs and, to be frank, they are a Vikings 2.0 when it comes to where they were five years ago, where they want to be in five years and where they are now. And I can’t see the Broncos biting, especially with a very well rested CJ Anderson and an understanding that they want to build again. If the Broncos want to make the most of Sanders and Thomas and bring in Romo then we’ll talk but until that happens it’s a pipe dream.