Adrian Peterson-Detroit Lions rumors just got a big bump. As did the chances of Peterson signing with the Green Bay Packers or Oakland Raiders. Breaking news has the Minnesota Vikings signing running back Latavius Murray, likely taking away a possible suitor in free agency. While it was a longshot that the Vikings would get saddled with a new Peterson contract, the team was always willing to bring him back at a discount. That option may now be off the table, as the Vikings are now heavily invested in Murray.
A report by ESPN confirmed the Latavius Murray signing, taking away one of the free agent running backs that were making the rounds. Murray had accepted several meetings with teams since free agency opened, forgoing a stop with the Seattle Seahawks to meet with the Vikings on Wednesday (March 15). That Vikings meeting must have gone well because Murray left town with a new contract in place. The reason he skipped a meeting with the Seahawks was that the team had just signed Eddie Lacy away from the Green Bay Packers.
Adrian Peterson’s Twitter account has been pretty devoid of updates on his free agent situation, even though he has posted workout videos. After getting cut by the Minnesota Vikings, Peterson and his agent had listed six teams that he would be interested in playing for during the 2017 NFL season, which is part of the reason that the Adrian Peterson-Detroit Lions rumors started surfacing. The other five teams were the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, and Minnesota Vikings.
Early indications in free agency seemed to point toward Peterson preferring to go play for the Seahawks, but that meeting may not have gone well for the former NFL MVP. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the next player to meet with the Seahawks was Eddie Lacy, who had a contract in place before he could even hop on a plane to head home. Maybe Peterson and his agent wanted too much money or maybe it was because Lacy was the price that general manager John Schneider was willing to pay. Either way, Peterson remains unsigned.
Regarding the Detroit Lions rumors, the team had been linked to both Latavius Murray and Eddie Lacy. With both free agent running backs off the market, it slims down the options quite a bit. Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is still available, as are LeGarrette Blount of the New England Patriots, DeAngelo Williams of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chris Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals, Reggie Bush of the Buffalo Bills, and Chris Ivory of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Peterson and Charles are clearly the “cream of the crop” still on the market.
Taking a look at the last Adrian Peterson contract, he was signed to a three-year, $42 million deal by the Minnesota Vikings. According to the terms of the contract, Peterson would receive $20 million in guaranteed money. For the 2017 NFL season, Peterson’s contract would have paid him a base salary of $11.75 million, a roster bonus of $6 million, and a workout bonus of $250,000. When the Vikings cut him, they also removed any burden he had against the team salary cap, making him an unrestricted free agent who can sign with any franchise.
This is where things get a bit tricky. While the Adrian Peterson-Detroit Lions rumors might make sense in how he would fit with the current roster, his salary might raise a lot of red flags for the payroll. The Lions’ salary cap space is already stretched pretty thin, with only roughly $3.5 million available after taking into account the top 51 salaries and the projected draft pool. There are ways that the Lions could cut salaries before training camp, but it may all boil down to whether Peterson is willing to take a pay cut to go play in Detroit.
Perusing a list of the teams with the most salary-cap space, they are the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, and Oakland Raiders. If the Raiders want to sign Peterson, tight end Jared Cook, and any other available free agent, the team could easily offer more money than the Lions, Packers, Seahawks, Patriots, or Vikings. The Detroit Lions may want to sign Peterson, but salary cap restrictions might make that very difficult, if not completely impossible unless he takes a huge pay cut to play with Matthew Stafford.
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