Adrian Peterson is perhaps the biggest name still available in free agency - but after the Vikings agreed to a deal with Latavius Murray and the Seahawks added Eddie Lacy, the former NFL MVP doesn't have very many options left.
Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe reacted to Peterson's situation on Thursday's episode of Undisputed, and Sharpe said that Peterson is in for a rude awakening.
Shannon Sharpe: Peterson has priced himself out of the market, and opportunities are dwindling
“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!’"
Bruce KluckhohnBruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon Sharpe: Peterson is going to have to take a hefty pay cut
“First of all, you know Skip, at the age of 30 most teams view running backs as dinosaurs. 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.”
Brace HemmelgarnBrace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon Sharpe: It's hard to find an open spot for Peterson in the NFL
“Maybe he and Murray switch teams. 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.
Teams now need more versatility, and if I’m paying you $10-$12 million dollars to play on first and second downs… I just don’t see how that flies.
Plus, Skip, he doesn’t practice. He doesn’t play in the preseason. So that’s why he should have gone back to Minnesota - because nobody would value Adrian Peterson like the Minnesota Vikings value Adrian Peterson. And he’s finding that out the hard way.”
Brace HemmelgarnBrace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: Peterson is now realizing his pro football mortality
“I agree with everything you just said in a sad way. I thought it was a sad day for Adrian Peterson. I know Adrian, I like him a lot as a guy. Nobody works harder, certainly, in the weight room. Not on the practice field, but in the weight room. Nobody has sort of more warrior spirit to him, nobody has more pride than Adrian Peterson.
But he just got slapped in the face with reality yesterday. Pro football mortality reality.”
Shannon Sharpe: “Seattle just said ‘we’d rather have a 267-pound guy that we’re going to put incentives in his contract to get him down to 240. We would rather have that.’
You know Adrian’s going to work hard. You know he’s going to be in the best physical conditioning. But the Seattle Seahawks said ‘we would rather have that.’
Skip Bayless: “They said ‘no’ to Adrian Peterson. And the shocker to me was that his team - his life, it’s all been in purple - they said ‘no.’ They said ‘thanks for the memories.’ They said ‘it’s been real, but it’s over.’ They said ‘see ya later, 28.’"
Christopher HanewinckelChristopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: Adrian Peterson now has to adapt to a new team, and it won't be easy for him
"And I’m just stunned by this because I thought it was playing out, as I think Adrian and his people thought it was playing out. You take your visits, but you’re just negotiating with your hometown team, your original team. It was just like Dont’a Hightower. Took his visits to Pittsburgh and to the Jets, but everybody pretty much assumed all along [he would stay in New England].
In this case, I thought whatever the offer is, they’ll have a meeting of the minds, they’ll make peace with each other, he will be a Viking. And our man Cris Carter advocated the other day that ‘hey, you can’t go anywhere else because you get royal privileges with the purple,’ right?
You get to park where you park. You got a space right near the locker room underneath the stadium. You get everything. You’ve got kids on the sideline.
That’s just what I expected, that for the next couple years Adrian’s going to end his career as a Minnesota Viking… All of a sudden the Vikings sent a message to the rest of the league: ‘We just don’t think he’s worth it anymore. He’s not worth significant money, even to us.’
So, as you say, Adrian’s just a few days away from turning 32 years of age. He’s played 10 years in this league as a high-collision back. 95 percent of his career carries, as you just pointed out, came out of the I-formation with a fullback blocker and the QB under center. So not only has he priced himself out of the market, he’s schemed himself out of the market.’"