We’re less than a month away from the Vikings’ deadline for deciding whether to keep Adrian Peterson at his current salary or letting the soon-to-be 32-year-old running back hit the open market (with the chance, of course, of trying to keep him at a reduced salary).
The probability that the Vikings will choose the latter option is high. And that means in this post-Super Bowl, pre-free agency NFL vacuum, speculation is running rampant as to where Peterson might wind up if his days in purple are done. If you look at Twitter, online comments and other forums long enough (note: I suggest you don’t), you can find a link between Peterson and pretty much every team in the NFL in 2017.
We’ve been through this before, of course, when Peterson was coming off his scandal-marred 2014 season and it seemed quite possible the Vikings were going to move on from him. It’s just as maddening and/or amusing now.
That said: Here are a handful of the more “serious” bits of speculation — and even these might cause your eyes to roll violently in their sockets.
*Peterson to the Giants: The New York Daily News recently published a piece imploring the Giants to sign Peterson while Eli Manning’s Super Bowl window is still open. And let’s not forget the Giants were one of three teams Peterson mentioned last month as potential landing spots if things don’t work out with the Vikings. I’m not sure anyone thinks a combo of Manning and Peterson would be the 1-2 punch to lead any team to a Super Bowl at this point, but opinions are opinions.
UPDATE: Wednesday evening, Peterson tweeted this
The Giants been making some interesting moves.
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) February 16, 2017
*Peterson to the Buccaneers or Texans: The other two teams mentioned by Peterson as good fits were Tampa Bay and Houston. Of course, he also said, “I’ll stop right there. … I’m just throwing random names out there.” Hey, Peterson might have a future in blogging once his career is over.
*Peterson to the Patriots: Ah, that would be fun, right? Another Bill Belichick project, at the right price, with a chance to win a ring. I have no idea why New England would want Peterson instead of LeGarrette Blount (who is two years younger and scored 18 rushing touchdowns last year), but here is an opposing take.
*Peterson to the Redskins: Robert Kelley had a strong rookie season in Washington, but some writers out there in the beltway are still tossing around the notion of Peterson joining the mix. This isn’t exactly fake news or alternative facts — it could happen, I suppose.
*Peterson to the Cowboys: The idea that just won’t die. Two years ago he was destined to go to Dallas and save the Cowboys because of the mutual admiration with Jerry Jones. Now the narrative is that he could be a veteran complement to Ezekiel Elliott. Sure, whatever.
*Peterson to the Packers: This is the most horrifying and intriguing idea of all, actually. Green Bay’s running game is a mess. Fans are clamoring for GM Ted Thompson to make more significant moves in free agency. Green Bay is a legitimate Super Bowl threat. Pairing Peterson with a great quarterback like Aaron Rodgers could be beneficial to both players. And Peterson could experience a Brett Favre-esque wave of motivation playing for his former rival. Respected Packers writer Rob Demovsky lays out a lot of these arguments and more. Buckle up.