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.