Adrian Peterson Free Agent Projection

 

With the recent news of Latavius Murray signing with the Vikings, and Minnesota’s top brass confirming Peterson will not be brought, AP is officially an eligible bachelor. Peterson had met with the Seahawks, but Pete Carroll’s crew made a deal with Eddie Lacy instead. While, I think it is a given that AP will not return to his former glory. I do, however, believe that if he can stay healthy, he can have a pretty decent fantasy impact wherever he lands (Latter half of RB2 with RB1 upside). In honor of AP’s 32nd birthday, let’s take a look at possible destinations and take a guess where he will end up.

The Leading Candidates

Oakland Raiders

The Bay Area Bruisers actually finished 6th in the league in rushing last year. This was achieved through the mixing and matching of Murray, Washington, and Richard. Latavius Murray has since left and AP has been linked to the Raiders. The fit makes sense. The Raiders were a RBBC before and the likes of Jalen Richard would allow AP to plug into Oakland’s high-powered offense without an inordinate burden on his shoulders. I think there is a decent shot this happens, but the swapping of the backs between the two teams feels too much like a fairytale ending for me.

Update: The Raiders have been heavily linked to Marshawn Lynch. Reports have suggested there is interest on both sides. There will be more to come on this. Check back with the circus tomorrow.

Green Bay Packers

There has been a lot of speculation linking the Pack to AP, especially since the departure of Lacy. James Starks and Christine Michael are free agents, and Ty Montgomery is the only truly viable back currently on the roster (not counting Ripkowski). Green Bay finished in the second-half of the league in rushing last year and 29th in rushing attempts.

While a revenge deal that puts one of the Vikings’ greatest all-time in green and gold would be a great story (Favre in purple hurt my eyes and my soul), I just don’t see this happening. The RB position is not that big of a worry for GB — Rodgers and his receiving core have done a fine job carrying the team the past few years without one anyway. I don’t think they are willing to shell out the cash for AP, and I do not think they need to. I fully expect the Pack to address the need in the draft or maybe sign a less splashy veteran RB (Blount perhaps).

Other Fits that Make Sense

New York Giants

The G-Men’s rushing game last year was an eye-sore. It has been for some time. The last time Big Blue had a 1k yard rusher was Ahmad Bradshaw in 2012. Perkins has shown some flashes, but I don’t think he is the answer. The Giants brought back Orleans Darkwa, but he sounds just as likely to be newest super villain torturing Gotham as he is to be a difference maker on the field.

AP has said he would like to sign with Giants and I think the fit of pairing AP with Perkins in the Giant’s re-tooled offense makes some sense. There is a disconnect here between the Giant’s shot-gun offensive scheme and Peterson’s skill set. Any team that signs a back like AP who prefers to stand 9 yards behind the line would have to make offensive adjustments. Although, Peterson has a known severe allergy to pass-blocking. The clashing styles might be just a bit too much to overcome.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Here is another team with a big question mark that the position. Tampa was 24th in the league in rushing last year and dealt with a host of injuries and suspensions. Doug Martin has shown that he is both capable of being a lead back, and that he is incapable. He is also slated to miss the first 3 games due to a PED suspension (Hamster Muscles don’t come cheap) and entered into a rehab facility. TB resigned Rodgers, but I do not foresee him as a starter. Simms has only been and will continue to be a change of pace, passing downs kind of guy.

AP has said he wants to play in Tampa and putting him behind the line with Evans and Jackson out wide would cause a lot of teams a lot of trouble. Tampa has the cap-space and the skill to draw interest from Peterson. The team is also not afraid to line up in the single back formation. This fit intrigues me.

A Fit That Does Not Make Sense

Houston Texans

AP has said he would like to play for the Texans. They just signed Lamar Miller to a 4 year deal worth 26 million, 14 of which is guaranteed. AP does, or did, have a house in Houston, so I think this is more wishful thinking on AP’s part than a reality. I don’t see the Texans spending more money on the position when their QB situation is so dire, I do see AP riding around Houston in his Truck blaring “I’m Coming Home” until he ultimately signs elsewhere.

The Dark Horse

New England Patriots

The Boston Herald recently ran a story that claimed a close source to Peterson said AP would be willing to take a club-friendly deal to sign with the Pats. What would that cut look like? AP was due to make 18 million this year with the Vikes. I don’t see him dropping low enough for this to be a serious potential. This one is nothing more than a Mark Whalberg pipe dream for me.

Prediction

I think the Raiders is a really intriguing destination. The recent developments of the team pursuing Lynch has soured the potential for me. Ultimately, I put AP with the Buccaneers. Tampa has been putting snagging the right pieces in Free Agency to put them over the hump in the NFC South. I think they will continue that trend and sign AP.

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