Minnesota Vikings Won’t Exercise Option on Adrian Peterson’s Contract

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 18: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs off the field after warmups prior to an NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)
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After a decade with the Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Peterson is going to hit the open market. The former league MVP missed most of the 2016 NFL season with injuries and was completely ineffective when he did play, averaging less than two yards per carry. Peterson is half a decade removed from his incredible 2,000 yard season, and the Vikings just weren’t willing to pay him the $6 million dollars he would’ve been owed, or the $18 million he would’ve cost against the cap.

Minnesota Vikings Won’t Exercise Option on Adrian Peterson’s Contract

Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in NFL history. There’s no denying it. He’s the only runningback since Ladanian Tomlinson to win league MVP, and LT is headed to Canton, Ohio. In 2012, Peterson rushed for over 2,000 yards, carrying the Vikings to the playoffs with Christian Ponder as his quarterback. To deny Peterson his place in NFL history would be foolish.

However, time waits for no man. Every NFL legend loses a step, and running backs lose that step earlier than any other position. Adrian Peterson will be 32 when the season starts, and only four backs in NFL history have broken 1,000 yards after age 32.

Despite the inevitable decline, the jury is still out on Peterson. He’s 32, but he’s also missed two of the last three seasons, and not just because of injuries. Not to mention, nobody could’ve succeeded on Minnesota’s offense this year. Their offensive line isn’t what it once was and Sam Bradford was under center. Maybe a fresh start would be good for Peterson. But where?

Possible Suitors

Raider Nation

Google insists that the Oakland Raiders are the favorites to land Adrian Peterson. and it’s easy to see why. Latavius Murray is hitting free agency, the Raiders have plenty of cash to spend, and they’re on the verge of being legitimate Super Bowl contenders. However, the Raiders are trying to re-sign the likes of Derek Carr and Khalil Mack in the next two years, so their cap space is a little misleading. If Peterson goes to Oakland, it won’t be for a ton of guaranteed money.

Go Pack Go

Wouldn’t it be poetic if Vikings legend Adrian Peterson finished his career with the Green Bay Packers? It would be Green Bay’s way of avenging the reverse happening with Brett Favre. Eddie Lacy is set to hit free agency, and he never really panned out like they wanted him to anyway. If Peterson is half the back he used to be, he could give Aaron Rodgers some much needed muscle in the run game.

They Might Be Giants

The New York Giants need a feature back. They were one of the worst running teams in football last year, and the sad fact is that Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger. As their star quarterback gets older, and he might only have one more Super Bowl run in him. It’s true that New York’s offensive line is a bit of a wreck, but if you’re going to try and run the ball, you might as well use a future hall of famer.