The rumors are swirling on what’s going to happen to Adrian Peterson. However, the Green Bay Packers an’t fall for the trap and should steer clear.
The future of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is murky at best. It’s unclear where he’ll be playing in 2017, but every day it seems less-and-less likely that it will be Minnesota. Despite putting together one of the more dominant careers with the Vikings, the time for them to part ways may be extremely soon.
In the same division, the Green Bay Packers are extremely short on running backs. Eddie Lacy is a free agent, while James Starks was released by the team earlier in the offseason. That really just leaves Ty Montgomery.
Personally, I’m on the Montgomery train. He might not be the best running back in football, but he fits the Packers offense perfectly. However, one back just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Yes, there are plenty of teams that have a one-running-back system, that doesn’t mean they don’t have backup plans, though.
Clearly, the Packers will have to build up their backfield. Peterson’s clearly enticing. The 31-year-old has ran for 11,747 yards in his career, scoring 97 times (102 if you count receiving touchdowns). He’s battled injuries lately and anyone that’s carried the ball as much as he has will raise concerns about how much more productivity is left.
That’s not anything Peterson’s trying to hear though, as he’ll break off an explosive run at any moment.
While that’s impressive and all, it doesn’t hide the fact that Peterson had just 72 yards on 38 carries in 2016. It also doesn’t hide the fact that he’s played in just 20 games over the last three seasons. Sure, his 2015 was great (1,485 yards, 4.5 yard per carry, and 11 touchdowns), but 2014 and 2016 saw a combined 147 yards in four games.
There’s no doubt in my mind that a healthy Peterson could contribute to any offense. He may not be what he’s been in the past, but there’s still something left in the tank.
Despite that, he’s not what the Packers are looking for. I mean, an offense run by Aaron Rodgers does not want a back that needs the ball 20+ times a game. That’s not really a good reason to not acquire an all-time running back, though. I’m sure they could figure something out on offense, such as Peterson realizing he’s not that guy anymore.
The main reason is what they’d be giving up. If they trade for him, the Vikings surely wouldn’t be asking for little. They probably won’t be looking for a first-rounder, but two mid-rounders is still a hefty fee for an aging back.
Meanwhile, if he’s released and the Packers try to sign him, he’s not going to come cheap. Peterson will have plenty of teams after him, giving him leverage in contract negotiations. An aging back like him probably won’t want a one-year deal, and that’s not what the Packers will want to hear.
There will be plenty of other running backs in free agency that can complement Montgomery nicely. Don’t forget about the draft coming up soon, where the talent pool is endless and the Packers can restock there. Peterson’s one of the greatest running backs to ever grace an NFL field. He’s just not what the Packers need.