We’ve been hearing about this inevitability for some time and today it finally became a reality. The Minnesota Vikings will part ways with running back Adrian Peterson, at least for now.
They did so by announcing they will decline an $18 million option for 2017, making Peterson a free agent next week.
That’s a no brainer (even for the Vikings, who have no brains). No running back is worth $18 million a season, especially one who’s 31 (will be 32 in March) and coming off a major knee injury.
Immediately following the move, rampant speculation picked up about the Green Bay Packers pursuing Peterson.
Yes, the Packers have a need at running back, with only Ty Montgomery currently under contract. However, the Packers appear to be set on bringing Eddie Lacy back into the fold.
Besides that, there are plenty of other reasons not to sign Peterson. Among them: child abuse, age, injury history, declining production.
In the three games Peterson played in 2016, he averaged just 1.9 yards per carry.
Still, there will be teams that will go hard after Peterson. We expect the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys will be in the mix. The Giants have no running game to speak of and Jerry Jones loves the idea of signing Peterson in Dallas, even though he already has Ezekiel Elliott.
The Raiders and Seahawks could also factor in and, don’t count the Vikings out completely. It’s still possible they could bring Peterson back at a reasonable rate.
Although, if I had to bet, I’d bet Peterson will be playing for a new team in 2017.