Most New England Patriots fans would be tantalized by the thought of former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson suiting up to play together with their beloved quarterback Tom Brady. And after news on Sunday that Peterson is scheduled to meet New England brass on Monday, this fantasy may soon become a reality. And Adrian Peterson to the New England Patriots could make sense for both sides.
Adrian Peterson to the New England Patriots Could Make Sense For Both Sides
Match On the Field
A potential Peterson-Patriots union makes a whole lot of sense. Peterson is in the latter stages of his Hall of Fame career, but has yet to win a Super Bowl championship. As a player looking to add a ring to his resume, there aren’t many better places he could go than Foxborough. At the same time, New England has depth at the running back position (James White and Dion Lewis, among others), but they’re still looking for a bruising lead runner now that LeGarrette Blount is a free agent. Seems like both parties have a lot to gain by joining forces.
Assuming all are in favor, a deal of this magnitude will likely come down to dollars and cents, as is invariably the case with most sports contract negotiations. A report from ESPN suggests that Peterson is looking to be paid in the neighborhood of $8 million in the first year of a new contract. If Peterson were younger, such a deal might be considered a steal. But Peterson is now 32 (an antique among running backs), and there are serious concerns regarding his risk of injury. In 2011, he missed an entire season due to ACL and MCL tears, while this past season he was limited to only three games after suffering a knee injury. These more recent setbacks, along with his history of injuries during his collegiate career at Oklahoma, suggest that he may not be quite worth his current asking price.
Peterson Isn’t Like Other Running Backs
In most cases, signing a 30-something year-old, injury prone player would be ill advised, but this is Adrian Peterson. Along with running through defensive linemen, defying logic is what he does best. His remarkable comeback season in 2012 wasn’t just impressive for a player who was returning from a severe injury; it was impressive by any standard. Despite Peterson’s age and history of injuries, he has proven himself to be one of the NFL’s most resilient and efficient running backs when on the field. It’s unlikely that Peterson would produce numbers similar to those from his 2015 season (when he led the league in rushing), but it’s reasonable to assume that if he were to play behind the same offensive line that helped Blount lead the league in rushing touchdowns (18), Peterson would thrive in New England.
Judging from their other off-season acquisitions (Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy, Stephon Gilmore), it would seem that New England is aspiring for a return trip to the Super Bowl, and Peterson might just be their ticket. And with Super Bowl 52 set to take place in Minnesota, where Peterson’s legacy began, U.S Bank Stadium could offer the perfect setting for Peterson to write the final chapter of his storybook career. With just under $22 million in cap space to spare, the Patriots would be foolish not to invest in what could be a happily ever after tale for all.