Based on last season, the short and long-term future of the Minnesota Vikings should feature some success.
However, Adrian Peterson will not be a part of either.
Minnesota signed free agent running back Latavius Murray to a three-year, $15 million deal on Wednesday night.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman noted that he texted Peterson at 1:00 a.m. on Thursday morning and let him know that a deal had been done, per ESPN.
With us signing Murray, Adrian will move on elsewhere,” Spielman said on a conference call with reporters on Thursday. “Adrian is probably going to go down as one of the greatest Minnesota Vikings in team history…he’ll always be a Viking, I know, to the fans and the people in this building. And he will always have a special place in this franchise and we are very fortunate that we were able to have Adrian Peterson spend most of his career as a Minnesota Viking.”
Peterson became an unrestricted free agent on March 9 after the Vikings decided not to pick up their option which would have paid him an immense $18 million next season.
After being passed up for Eddie Lacy by the Seattle Seahawks earlier this week, AP’s name has been linked to the Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants this offseason.
Despite ranking 16th on the all-time rushing list, the 32-year-old Peterson will be a risky signing wherever he ends up. He has failed to log over 40 carries in two of the past three seasons due to suspension and injuries. He’s had some serious knee injuries over his career, most recently suffering a torn meniscus. That’s on top of a previous ACL reconstruction.
While he did rush for an NFL-leading 1,485 yards in 2015, Peterson projects as a first and second down back at this point in his career, as he has not factored into the passing game (traditionally a third-down scenario) in recent years.
It’s also worth noting that he has limited experience in shotgun or pistol offenses, which many teams are now featuring at high rates due to the pass-happy nature of the league.
It’ll be odd seeing him in another uniform next season, but Peterson’s time with the Vikings is clearly over and can be considered bittersweet overall.
While he had immense success on the field for many years and was considered the best running back in the NFL for many of them, his child abuse suspension and recent injuries have been road blocks to not only his on-field production, but his legacy as a whole.