NFL free agency doesn't officially begin until March 9, 2017, but running back Adrian Peterson is already confirmed to land on the market, and the Dallas Cowboys are jumping. The Minnesota Vikings have confirmed that they will officially part ways with "All Day" after declining to pick up his option for 2017. That lands him in NFL free agency where a number of teams are going to start looking at just how much they can sign the star running back for.
As confirmed by NFL.com, the Vikings officially made the announcement on Tuesday that they will not exercise his 2017 option which would have counted for $18 million against the salary cap. When the new league year launches on March 9, he will officially be an unrestricted free agent.
Seeing as how he will be unrestricted, Peterson will be free to immediately negotiate and sign with any other team that he wishes.
THIS JUST IN: Adrian Peterson to become unrestricted free agent after Vikings announce the team will not exercise 2017 option. pic.twitter.com/fAiwU2biuJWhat fans may fail to realize is that Peterson could also return to Minnesota in 2017 if he chooses to negotiate with them on a new deal. The thing is, another NFL team will likely offer him a better deal for more money, and that is where he'll probably end up.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 28, 2017
CBS Sports is reporting that there are some locations where Adrian Peterson may end up in free agency, and as rumored for years, the Cowboys are one of them. That should come as no surprise as the two sides have wanted to work together for years, but could never really say anything officially due to tampering issues.
Now, it's a different story.
If Adrian Peterson was free, source said #Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would pursue him to pair with Zeke Elliott. He'll be free on 3/9????????????Yes, the Cowboys do have second-year running back Ezekiel Elliott who is coming off of a monster season, but Dallas may still want Peterson. For years, the Cowboys went through running back after running back without finding one that could lead the team or stay healthy.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 28, 2017
After the injury issues they have dealt with at running back as well as to Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, they want to have as much insurance as possible. Knowing that Peterson has wanted to play in Dallas for years, he may be willing to take less money, but he'd also have to agree to be a backup and not a starter.
Barring any kind of injury or serious off-field trouble, Ezekiel Elliott has that locked up.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, and Oakland Raiders are other possible landing spots for Peterson once he officially becomes a free agent. It is going to be a bit of a bidding war, but considering his age and past injuries, no team will break the bank for him.
For a while, the New England Patriots have been mentioned as somewhere that Peterson could land, but ESPN now states that is rather unlikely. The Super Bowl champions do have some returning stars heading back, but LeGarrette Blount is an unrestricted free agent, and if he leaves, there will be a rather big hole on offense.
This was a very different looking Dallas Cowboys team in 2016, and they ended up almost making it to the Super Bowl. Now, they just need a few more puzzle pieces to fit in perfectly and a backup running back like Adrian Peterson may be what they're missing. The Minnesota Vikings are officially done with him, and he will land in NFL free agency, but the Cowboys will be far from the only team looking to bring him onto their roster.
[Featured Image by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images]