After this weekend, the 2017 Super Bowl matchup will be known, and after the Super Bowl goes down, the offseason rumors in the NFL will start running wild. With that said, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is already stirring up rumors.
According to ESPN, Minnesota's star running back has dropped a list that features three teams he would like to play for if things don't work out with the Minnesota Vikings.While Minnesota could end up keeping Peterson (that is still a viable option), one must remember that the aging star would come at quite the price. Therefore, it wouldn't be a surprise if the Vikings decided to cut ties with AP via a release.
If that does, in fact, happen, Peterson and Tony Romo, two players who were once the faces of NFL franchises, would be heavily pursued on the open market. Side note: It wouldn't be a surprise if the Dallas Cowboys quarterback was released in the offseason as well. The problem for both players? Two things: Injury history (mostly for Romo) and age.
Peterson is 31-years-old (he turns 32 on March 21). While that might not sound old, it is certainly pushing the limit for a running back, especially one who has dealt with some injuries over the course of his career. Peterson only played in three games in 2016, and he could only manage 72 rushing yards in the process.
Of course, in the 2015 season, he led the league in rushing yards with 1,485, and he also racked up 11 rushing touchdowns. Peterson has been an extremely productive running back over the course of his career (that's quite the understatement), but no one can defeat Father Time.
Who knows if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, or New York Giants will show mutual interest. Nonetheless, those are the three teams that Peterson would like to play for if things do not work out with his current team.
For all it's worth, Tampa Bay is coming off of a season in which it finished with a 9-7 record, and it is also filled with young talent on the offensive side of the ball (like quarterback Jameis Winston, for starters), which is probably a big reason why AP would want to join that squad, despite the fact that the Buccaneers did not make the playoffs this season. New York made the playoffs with an 11-5 record while Houston also made the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
A lot can happen now until the 2017 NFL season starts. A lot will happen. In fact, there are now two NFL teams in Los Angeles, and the Oakland Raiders, who could be a trendy pick to make the Super Bowl next season, appear to be taking their talents to Las Vegas (although that relocation will not happen overnight).
At this stage of the game, it would not be a surprise if big names like Tony Romo and Adrian Peterson ended up playing for new teams in 2017. All signs appear to be pointing in that direction.
In terms of what the Vikings are actually going to do, well, that remains a mystery. However, as ESPN pointed out, $18 million isn't very desirable for the organization, meaning a release could be in store. Of course, Minnesota could also trade Peterson, but that also remains a mystery.
If AP does hit the market this offseason, then surely a team would be more than happy to acquire his services. After all, his track record speaks for itself (11,747 career rushing yards and 97 career rushing touchdowns).
Before all of the madness in rumor fashion takes over the NFL scene, fans can still look forward to three more games: The AFC Championship between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, the NFC Championship between the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons, and the Super Bowl.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]