Adrian Peterson took to Twitter to dispute reports that he’s demanding at least an $8 million salary in the first year to play for a team this season.
Peterson, who turned 32 this week, was slated to make $18 million for the Vikings before they replaced him with Latavius Murray. Since then, during the height of free agency, Peterson’s recruitment has been mostly silent.
The reason, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, is that Peterson has an asking price of $8 million — a seemingly ridiculous expectation for an aging back coming off a year in which he was mostly sidelined by a knee injury.
Peterson, who won the league rushing title in 2015, shot down that report in a lengthy social media reaction.
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) March 25, 2017
Eddie Lacy signed with the Seahawks for $5.5 million. Murray’s three-year contract is for $15 million.
The consensus all along has been that it would come down to money for Peterson. Of course he says it is more to it than that, but from a general manager’s perspective, that’s what it is all about. In January, two former GMs relayed that sentiment to our NFL Insider, Mark Craig:
“It’s not a very good market for him,” said NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly, the former Redskins general manager. “I think he’ll have to take a significant pay cut. That much is obvious. If he can pass a physical, somebody will offer him a job. But it will be for a heck of a lot less money than he’s used to.”
Bill Polian, a Hall of Fame general manager and ESPN analyst, said if he still were a GM, his interest in Peterson would “depend entirely on the price Adrian’s agent was asking for.”
“I would imagine there will be a number of teams that are attractive to him,” Polian said. “But I don’t know how many will be attracted to him. But it only takes one team to make a market.”
For now, Peterson’s stated preference of putting winning over money will be tested, perhaps for weeks to come.