Free agent Adrian Peterson is one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. However, FOX Sports’ Shannon Sharpe believes he will have a hard time finding an NFL team because he is pricing himself out of the market.
During an episode of Undisputed on Thursday, Sharpe said Peterson still views himself as a top-tier back, while most NFL teams are perceiving him as an aging veteran worth far less than his $10-12 million asking price.
“I am a little [surprised he hasn’t signed yet], I think it has more to do with him pricing himself out of this market. Adrian Peterson still sees himself as a $10-$12 million dollar running back – and those days are long gone for him.
“What he should have done is [sat down with] Rick Spielman, the general manager of the Minnesota Vikings, and worked out a contract.
“But that’s not what he wanted. He thought he deserved for them to pick up that $18 million dollar option. And if you notice, Skip, if you go back say the last couple of years, Adrian Peterson said that he didn’t ‘feel appreciated by Minnesota,’ and what did Minnesota do? Added some years to the contract, gave him some more money up front.
“About a month ago, his dad says ‘the Minnesota Vikings do not appreciate Adrian.’ Because why? They wanted more money. And the Vikings are like ‘nope!’”
Peterson spent his entire career with the Minnesota Vikings, who selected him No. 7 overall in the 2007 NFL Draft, before being released this offseason. The Vikings declined to pick up Peterson’s $18 million option, making the 31-year-old a free agent and instead signed 27-year-old Latavius Murray to a three-year, $15 million deal on Thursday.
Peterson was limited to just 72 yards on 37 rushing attempts due to a knee injury in 2016, the lowest season total since his ACL tear in 2014. There’s also concerns that he’s too old for his position. Many running backs experience a decline after hitting age 30, which could be the case for Peterson, despite defying physics throughout his career.
“First of all, you know Skip, at the age of 30 most teams view running backs as dinosaurs,” Sharpe added. “Even one as freakishly gifted as Adrian Peterson. So now you’re talking about he’s about to be 32 at the start of the season. He’s coming off a serious knee injury, and he wants $10-$12 million a year? I don’t see how he gets it. And what’s happening? Seattle, off the market. [Latavius] Murray signs with [the Vikings]. So I’m trying to look at places where he can possibly go.”
However, the Vikings’ addition of Murray could have provided Peterson with a potential landing spot. The Raiders now need a starting running back and have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, which could help the veteran back extend his career as he trails the career rushing record by 6,608 yards.
Still, it seems like Peterson’s options are limited otherwise, according to Sharpe.
“Maybe he and Murray switch teams,” Sharpe said. “Maybe he goes to Oakland. But Skip, it’s drying up. I mean, you look at the AFC South, nobody can really use him. Maybe Jacksonville, but Tennessee has two backs. The Texans have two backs. I don’t really see the Colts… are they a possibility with Frank Gore there?
“I’m really finding it hard [to find a place] when you look at all the teams, it’s hard to find a place that he fits. Because basically he is an I-back tailback. Put him behind a fullback eight yards, toss him the ball, let him find a hole. That’s what he is. He doesn’t run well out of split backs. He doesn’t catch it. So basically, he’s a first and second-down back.”
[Featured Image by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images]