fitzgeraldIt doesn’t take much to kick up another round of Adrian Peterson trade speculation.

Peter King wrote this in his Monday Morning Quarterback column:

There's some noise out there that Adrian Peterson could be traded to Arizona. Well, I guess he could, at some point. But the money would be a major problem. I spoke with a reliable Cardinals sourceSundaynight, and the three years and $45 million left on Peterson's contract is an absolute non-starter with the Cards. "We haven't had contact with the Vikings about it, to the best of my knowledge," the source said. "And there is no way we could live with those numbers. We just got Larry Fitzgerald's contract under control. No way we'd add that salary."

Pro Football Talk picked it up and ran with it:

The unnamed source who told Peter King of TheMMQB.com that the Cardinals wouldn't take on Peterson's three years and $45 millionspecifically mentioned Fitzgerald's contract. And there's a chance that wasn't an accident.Despite creating $13 million in cap space by re-doing Fitzgerald's deal, the Cardinals will pay him $11 million per year in 2015 and 2016. With Fitzgerald possibly the No. 3 receiver in Arizona at best this year, that'sstill way too much.For years, there's been speculation that Fitzgerald would like to end his career in his home state of Minnesota, returning to the franchise for which he once served as a ball boy. Last season, speculation swirled that a straight up trade of Peterson for Fitzgerald could happen. Maybe it still could.

Maybe, might, could, unnamed … that is the currency of offseason NFL reporting, a blurry slurry of rumors, facts and half-truths.

Our own Matt Vensel reported last week that the Vikings are focused on keeping Peterson, so all of this speculation (which I have contributed to) could be much ado about nothing.

So: Should these types of speculative reports even be acknowledged? We chose to say yes, in this case, for two reasons. 1) Anything about a possible resolution to the Peterson situation is interesting and 2) There is a large element of entertainment in sports reporting, and as long as we can take these speculative items for what they are, they offer fodder for debate.

Would that be a good trade for the Vikings — Peterson for Fitzgerald? Well, it would continue the recent homecoming trend since Fitzgerald is from Minneapolis; as a receiver, he’ll be 32 next season and hasn’t reached 1,000 yards since 2011. Some of that is a function of poor QB play in Arizona, and he could do damage here — particularly if Mike Wallace provides a deep threat and Cordarrelle Patterson can develop.

Overall, it would make more salary sense than a deal between the Vikings and Cowboys and could benefit both teams in some ways.

Right now, though, it’s all just rumors, speculation and unnamed reports — worthy of a little talk, and not much else.

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