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Adrian Peterson admits he has eyes on hometown Texans, other teams

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Adrian Peterson suggested today that he believes he still  deserves to  earn $18 million this upcoming season and named three teams he would have interest in playing for in 2017 if the Vikings aren’t willing to pay him.

In an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” this morning, Peterson was asked what he would look for  in his next team if the Vikings declined to pick up his option and they could not find middle ground on a new deal.

Starting his reply, Peterson put emphasis on “If that doesn’t happen.” He then said “I’ve earned my way up to that [$18 million], by the way.”

He continued: “But if it doesn’t happen, [I would want] a place where me and my family are comfortable, [and] just the opportunity to compete for a championship. That’s my main goal that I want to accomplish.”

Peterson said that he would hope to sign with a contender that had a good defense, a “good offensive scheme” and “a great coaching staff.”

“There’s a couple of teams out there that I’ve thought about,” he said.

Pressed, he mentioned the Buccaneers, Giants and Texans. Houston, his offseason home, is about a two-hour drive from his hometown of Palestine.

Peterson, who rushed for 72 yards on 37 carries this past season, then said: “I’ll stop right there. … I’m just throwing random names out there.”

The Vikings will not be exercising the $18 million team option by paying Peterson’s $6 million roster bonus on March 11. But they are receptive to bringing Peterson back in 2017 at a reduced salary if he is willing.

Peterson did say on ESPN that he hopes to finish his career in Minnesota.

“I see myself in purple. A lot has to take place,” Peterson said. “I see myself finishing off in purple. It is a business at the end of the day, so with that, things could end up differently. … Hopefully we can work things out.”

If the Vikings  move on from Peterson, who missed 13 games due to injury in 2016 and turns 32 this spring, they will look to the draft for a potential replacement. This class of running backs is said to be stacked.

Peterson, meanwhile, reiterated on ESPN that he feels he has a few more productive years left in the tank, something he said a few weeks ago.

“I definitely have five more strong years, without a doubt,” Peterson said.

Vikings assistant general manager Paton finalist for 49ers GM job

George Paton is getting a second interview with the 49ers, a source confirmed.

Paton is one ofthe finalists for the still-vacant GM job with the 49ers, according to the Sacramento Bee, which first reported that theteamplanned to meet with Paton and the other finalists for second interviews.

The finalists include Green Bay’s Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf, the Bee reports. Arizona’s Terry McDonough might still be in the running, too.

The 49ers talked to nine candidates in their first round of interviews while also simultaneously interviewing potential head coaches. They appear to have settled on Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as their next head coach after Josh McDaniels and Tom Cable bowed out of the mix.

Paton, a UCLA graduate, has spent the past decade with the Vikings, helping general manager Rick Spielman assemble the talented, young core that won the NFC North in 2015. Paton previously worked with Spielman in Chicago and Miami before joining him in Minnesota in 2006.

Paton, whose title in Minnesota is assistant general manager, has turned down opportunities to interview for possible promotions with other teams in recent years because of his close relationship with Spielman and his belief that the Vikings were building something special here.

Paton’s first interview with the 49ers was on Jan. 6 in Atlanta.

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Denver 10 3 3 8 24

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