Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Time to move on

It came as zero surprise Tuesday when the Minnesota Vikings declined RB Adrian Peterson's option for the 2017 season. Even if Peterson had won another rushing title in 2016 (as it was he only played in 3 games, gaining a paltry 72 yards), there's no way the team ever intended to pay him $18 million next season. As such, Peterson becomes an unrestricted free agent as of March 9.

"It's been a great 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings," Peterson said in a statement to ESPN's Josina Anderson. "They know what I bring to the organization as a player, with my work ethic and dedication. I spoke with [Vikings GM] Rick Spielman this past weekend. The door is still open to find some common ground. I understand addressing the offensive line is one of their main priorities this offseason.

"In the meantime, I will explore my other options and see what path God leads me on. My main goal remains the same: to win a Super Bowl championship with a great team, which I also believe we have in Minnesota."

No doubt that Peterson has exhibited he's a physical freak of nature. Despite tearing knee ligaments on Christmas Eve 2011, he returned the following season with the second best single-season rushing performance in NFL history (2,097 yards, a mere eight yards shy of the all-time mark). Then after being inactive for 15 games in the 2014 season after revelations of beating one of his kids, Peterson returned in 2015 to claim another rushing title after running for 1,485 yards.

With all that said, Peterson will be 32-years old later this month and has basically missed two of the previous three NFL seasons. And with the Vikings needing to prioritize the offensive line with the lion's share of their available money under the salary cap, retaining Peterson should not even be under consideration. Besides, there's already talk of other teams beginning to show interest in his services.

While Spielman and Peterson both indicated that the proverbial door remains open in Minnesota, I'm guessing both believe Peterson's Vikings days are over. As they should be.


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