A decision will likely be made sooner than later, but the Minnesota Vikings could be saying goodbye to the franchise’s all-time rushing leader in the near future.
When asked almost a week ago about where he sees himself in 2017, current Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had no trouble saying that he sees himself, “in purple,” next season. That’s all nice and wonderful Adrian, but your chances of staying with the Vikings for another year are not looking that great.
Minnesota needs to move on from their aging running back this offseason and there is absolutely no reason not too. Sure he has accomplished a lot during his career, but the NFL is a league that could care less about what a player has done in the past.
He is not even a fit for the Vikings’ offensive scheme anymore.
With Pat Shurmur leading the way, Minnesota is moving forward with a West Coast offense. A scheme that relies more on short passes rather than a ground-and-pound rushing attack.
If Peterson were to remain with the Vikings next season, he most certainly would not be getting his standard 20-plus carries per game. For a guy that still thinks he the best back in the NFL today, that is not something he would likely be happy about and something he probably would not keep quiet about as well.
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Looking ahead to this year’s draft, there are a bunch of running backs that could step in right away and be a better fit for Minnesota than Peterson next year. A number of talented rushers including Kareem Hunt, Marlon Mack, and Wayne Gallman are just a few of the backs expected to be around when the Vikings make their selection in the second round this spring.
Minnesota really cannot afford to pay Peterson the kind of money he thinks he is worth next season. Releasing or trading him would free up a ton of cap space that could be better utilized on fixing other areas of the roster like their train wreck of an offensive line.
For anyone thinking that Peterson can change and adapt to a new role for the Vikings in 2017, do not be fooled. The running back has spit plenty of similar gibberish in past offseasons before eventually returning to the field and showing zero signs of any sort of evolution in his game.
Plain and simple, his time in the state of Minnesota has just reached its finish line. Something the Vikings franchise needs to come to grips with if they have not already.