While the 2017 NCAA tournament is still going strong, one big question remains in the NFL: Why hasn’t a team picked up the legendary Adrian Peterson yet?
Peterson is one of the best running backs this league has ever seen. Still, he can’t seem to find a team. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, AP is still a free agent because of his asking price.
Said on @SportsCenter two NFL sources believe Adrian Peterson is still free agent b/c initial price too high. GB mulled visit but passed— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 24, 2017
While AP has shredded opposing defenses over the years, one big factor remains: Peterson is now 32-years-old.
Of course, his stats explode off the stat sheet. Peterson has recorded 11,747 rushing yards and 97 rushing touchdowns during his time in the NFL. The man has also put up some monster seasons, and fans can look to his 2012 season to figure that one out. During the 2012 season, AP ran wild for 2,097 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns.
Peterson has only known one team in the NFL, and that has, of course, been the Minnesota Vikings.
While his body of work might speak for itself, all signs are pointing to Peterson needing to take a pay cut. The NFL is no longer valuing the running back position as much as it used to, and players like Peterson have to adapt, especially when players like Peterson are 32-years-old, which is practically considered ancient at the running back position.
There is no doubting Peterson’s abilities and what he has done in the past.
Another reason why teams might be shying away from Peterson is the fact that he is coming off of an injury. That, combined with him being past his prime, likely doesn’t sit well with NFL teams, especially if AP is demanding big-time money.
While Peterson is coming off of an injury and only racked up 72 rushing yards in 2016 as a result, it is important to note that he led the league in rushing yards in 2015 with 1,485 yards.
Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman had an interesting take on the matter — the Marshawn Lynch theory.
“And then there’s the Marshawn Lynch situation. If Lynch comes back, as reports suggest, some teams might want to sign him over Peterson, since Lynch has been out of football and could have fresher legs. Or at least that’s the theory.”
The same report also had this to say about AP.
“When B/R spoke to around a half-dozen team executives about Peterson, the consensus is that many teams believe he’s effectively done. When they watch video of Peterson, they see a player who has lost the most important part of his game: his burst.
“Peterson has slowed dramatically, they believe. Not a little. Not a shade. But a lot.”
Lynch is 30-years-old. Of course, the running back has sat out for quite some time, and he should, in theory, have fresh legs going for him as a result. He also isn’t coming off of an injury.
The running machine has racked up 9,112 rushing yards and 74 rushing touchdowns in his career.
While the Green Bay Packers might have mulled a visit with Peterson, they have since passed. It remains to be seen if those talks will gain some traction yet again. If Peterson doesn’t lower his asking price, then Green Bay, and the rest of the NFL, might not be interested. Going along with that thinking, it wouldn’t be a surprise if AP has already run his last down in the NFL, which is a rather tough pill to swallow.
The start of the 2017 NFL season is still a long time from now, however, and anything is possible now until then.
Nonetheless, seeing Adrian Peterson in a Green Bay Packers uniform would be quite the sight. After all, Peterson has spent his entire career with the Minnesota Vikings, and Green Bay and Minnesota aren’t exactly best friends.
[Featured Image by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images]