Earlier this week, Minnesota Vikings all-pro running back Adrian Peterson stated that he would like to remain with the franchise that drafted him seventh overall in 2007. However, he did state that on the chance the Vikings decide to cut the veteran, he named off potential landing spots that piqued his interest. The three teams that he named were the New York Giants, Houston Texans, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Giants have been devoid of a running game for some time now, and Houston is in close distance to Peterson’s hometown of Palestine, TX. However, the focus of this column (naturally) will zero in on the Bucs as a destination.
It’s been a couple of days since this news broke, and the chatter has died down just a little bit, but “All Day’s” comments did raise a few antennas around the bay area. Keep in mind his comments after the fact; “I’ll stop right there. … I’m just throwing random names out there.” On the surface, it all sounds like lip service, but let’s assume that he does have an interest in coming to Tampa Bay. Peterson does have a good resume in his decade in the NFL, and it doesn’t hurt to have added insurance in the backfield considering how most of the league is “pass-first”. Still, one has to wonder if GM Jason Licht and the rest of the front office would want to invest in a veteran running back who will be 32 years of age at the start of the 2017 season.
Where will @AdrianPeterson play in 2017?
— NFL (@NFL) January 19, 2017
The Buccaneers already have a proven back in Doug Martin, who if you recall finished second only to Peterson in rushing yards for the 2015 campaign. On the flip side, both Martin and Peterson were injured throughout 2016, making a second go at a rushing title non-existent. There’s no denying AD’s talent, accumulating over 1000 yards or more in seven of his ten seasons. However, with recent injuries (mainly knee) and getting up in age, the chances of the Buccaneers landing Adrian Peterson seem unlikely. It was reported that just last week on CBSSports.com that AD might have to take a pay cut in the final season of his contract to remain in Minnesota.
Now, this could be the reason why Adrian made the statements regarding potential landing spots; I’m almost certain this is the sole reason. Minnesota is a talented team with young players on both sides of the ball, and has proven they can win games without his services. Let me reiterate, Adrian Peterson will be 32 years old come September, and most likely still getting settled with a healed knee from the off-season. There’s a reason the Vikings want him to take a pay cut; as great a back as he’s been, the front office’s mindset is “What have you done for me lately?” Remember, despite all the accolades, Peterson has yet to help get the Vikings to the Super Bowl.
So while the prospect of “All Day” of finishing out his career in Tampa looks good on paper (?), age attrition state otherwise. Much like Minnesota, the Bucs are a young group of players that does have a bright future. Sure, bringing in Peterson to split time with Martin would give the offense a one-two backfield punch similar to what Atlanta has. But it sounds like it could be expensive to garner Peterson’s consideration. Truthfully, at this point, it’s not worth the price of admission. Look for Adrian Peterson to remain in the purple and gold for 2017.
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