Adrian Peterson Rumors: Thursday

Following Adrian Peterson‘s reinstatement, the next step to address is where he will play next season, for how much and for whom.

Here are some of the rumors circulating so far …

  • The Vikings have stated publicly, albeit very briefly today, they want the All-Pro runner in their backfield again, but Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune examines if they should want him back. He calls into question Peterson’s age (30) and his cap figure ($15.4MM) that dwarfs every other running back at a time in which the position’s value has never been lower. While Peterson was out last season, Teddy Bridgewater zoomed to the forefront of the Vikings from a marketing standpoint as well as serving in a leadership role, and Rand wonders how it would affect the locker room for the emerging quarterback to take a backseat to someone with Peterson’s reputation.
  • While the Cardinals and Cowboys are the most-rumored frontrunners, the Raiders are a stealth candidate here, writes Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman after speaking with multiple general managers. The Raiders have the fifth-most cap space in the NFL at just more than $20MM and may be willing to bring Peterson aboard at his current deal, considering they have the financial resources, lack star power and were the bidders pushing the Eagles for DeMarco Murray last month.
  • Peterson not mentioning the Vikings in his statement today caught the eye of the Dallas Morning News staff, with the Peterson-to-Dallas angle already scrutinized for years. Not surprising considering Peterson’s demand to leave Minnesota hasn’t been a secret. A theory similar to LeBron James not mentioning Andrew Wiggins or Anthony Bennett in his SI essay, though, still requires a trade to continue the narrative. The Cowboys, however, do outflank the Cardinals — Peterson’s other rumored suitor — in terms of cap space with more than $12MM to the Cards’ $9MM+.
  • Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic writes a trade to the Cardinals, which remains in play should the Vikings move off their stance, would likely require a re-done contract.
  • The Cardinals’ interest in Peterson could come from the fact they’ve had a shaky track record when it comes to using high draft picks on running backs, writes Darren Urban of Injuries derailed their last two runners taken — Ryan Williams (2011) and Beanie Wells (2009). Their most successful two ball-carriers selected in the past 25 years have been Thomas Jones (2000) and Garrison Hearst (1993). Both peaked elsewhere during long careers.
  • Although most analysts have pinpointed the draft as the prime Peterson trade window, Ben Goessling of writes the saga could drag on to minicamp June 16-18, which represents the first time Peterson could be fined for his absence. The running back has a $250K workout bonus. Goessling interprets the Vikings’ terse message as an ultimatum for Peterson to return unless they’re blown away with a trade offer. They might be the only team willing to work with his massive contract, which will be a critical chip in this staredown.
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