Adrian Peterson

Packers Interested In Adrian Peterson?

Although the Packers have “some” interest in free agent running back Adrian Peterson, a meeting between the two parties likely wouldn’t take place until the draft has concluded and Green Bay has assessed its options, according to Ben Goessling of ESPN.com."<strong

To this point, most of the news surrounding Peterson has involved clubs reporting that they are not interested in signing the 32-year-old back. Several rumored suitors – the Texans, Patriots, Raiders, Giants – have shown little to no interest in Peterson, while the Seahawks visited with him but then opted to sign Eddie Lacy. Meanwhile, Peterson won’t be re-signing with the Vikings after Minnesota inked Latavius Murray, leaving the future Hall of Famer’s prospects even more limited.

The Packers have not yet ruled themselves out as a potential Peterson landing spot, and they do have a need in their relatively barren backfield. After losing Lacy to Seattle, Green Bay boasts only Ty Montgomery, Don Jackson, and the recently re-signed Christine Michael in its running back corps. By joining a new club within the NFC North, then, Peterson would give the Packers a legitimate starting option to play alongside quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Peterson is one of only four of PFR’s Top 50 Free Agents that has yet to sign with a new club, and we also ranked him as the best running back still on the board.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Revis, Garoppolo, Lynch

Criminal charges were dropped against free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis earlier this week, which ostensibly opens the door for him to find a new employer soon. Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reports that one league executive believes a Revis reunion with the Patriots is the only thing that makes sense, and while he would likely not serve as a starting corner in New England, he could be used as a strong safety or as cornerback depth. Interestingly, though, Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald tweets that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told Revis several years ago that Revis’ skill-set did not translate to the safety position. While that does not preclude a New England reunion, it does add an interesting twist to the Revis saga, as many have taken it for granted that Revis will wind up playing safety for whoever signs him in 2017.

Now for more from the AFC:

  • As Volin notes in the same piece cited above, the Patriots’ apparent desire to trade Malcolm Butler is reflective of the team’s usual philosophy of getting rid of a player a year too soon instead of a year too late. However, the Pats have notably departed from that philosophy with respect to Jimmy Garoppolo, whom the club has been reticent to trade despite the haul of picks they could acquire in return. Volin says the Patriots’ stance with Garoppolo is simply based on the fact that he plays quarterback, and they believe that if something were to happen to Tom Brady, they could still compete for a title with Garoppolo under center. The team took a similar approach in 2014, when they held onto Ryan Mallett throughout training camp and did not deal him until they were confident that Garoppolo could handle the backup role.
  • Some Patriots fans are wondering why the club is willing to trade Butler but handed Stephon Gilmore a mega-deal this offseason. As Dan Hatman of The Scouting Academy (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com) notes, Gilmore is simply bigger than Butler, and his size and length can create more flexibility for defensive coordinator Matt Patricia when matching up against some of the game’s bigger receivers. Simply put, Gilmore is a premium man corner, and those players get paid.
  • Despite the Morris Claiborne signing, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com still expects the Jets to select a cornerback in the first or second round of this year’s draft.
  • Saturday night, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, retired running back Marshawn Lynch retweeted a message in which someone noticed that a musical playlist put together by Lynch contains a track entitled “Oakland Raiders.” The playlist was created in September 2015, but Florio believes the fact that Lynch went ahead and retweeted the message further legitimizes the Lynch-to-Raiders rumors.
  • Meanwhile, new Raiders acquisition Cordarrelle Patterson is actively recruiting free agent running back and former Vikings teammate Adrian Peterson to join him in Oakland, as Ben Goessling of ESPN.com writes. However, the latest reports about a Peterson/Oakland match suggest that Peterson has more interest in the Raiders than the Raiders have in him at the moment.
  • Sean Spence agreed to a deal with the Colts earlier today, and Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com tweets that Spence’s former team, the Titans, could use newly-acquired Jonathan Cyprien, a strong safety by trade, to fill Spence’s role as nickel linebacker.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Updated 3-22-17, 10:44am CT

Quarterback:

  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

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Raiders To Pursue Marshawn Lynch?

Remember those flirtations between the Raiders and Marshawn Lynch from last year? Sounds like things could be picking up again. The Raiders are giving serious thought to acquiring Lynch, either through trade or by his release, league sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter and Josina Anderson.

[RELATED: Raiders To Sign Jared Cook]"<strong

It could really happen,” one source familiar with the situation said. One source with knowledge of the situation told Mike Florio of PFT there is a “very good chance” that Lynch will return to football.

The Raiders would have to work out a trade with the Seahawks in order to get Lynch, since they still own his rights. In theory, the Seahawks could also cut Lynch as a courtesy to the tailback. The Seahawks don’t really need Lynch anyway now that they have Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise, and Thomas Rawls.

There’s also the matter of convincing Lynch to continue playing football. He was adamant about staying retired last year, but it’s an idea he has considered, sources say. Last September, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Lynch would consider playing during the 2016 campaign, and while that never happened, any lingering interest in returning to the league could manifest itself in 2017.

Oakland did indeed attempt to wrangle Lynch from the Seahawks via trade in 2016, and a deal nearly came together, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. However, Lynch ultimately decided to stay retired. Now that he’s taken a full year off, Lynch could potentially consider to re-enter the NFL for one more go-round with the Raiders, but those same talks — including the enticement of Lynch himself — will have to take place again.

One issue in negotiations might be the Raiders’ reluctance to send draft compensation to Seattle, as Oakland may only want to sacrifice something like a conditional seventh-rounder, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Additionally, the Raiders are trying to conserve cash and cap space in order to facilitate extensions for Derek Carr and Khalil Mack, so paying Lynch $9MM — the figure he was set to earn under his Seahawks contract — would be problematic.

Lynch wasn’t himself in 2015, as nagging injuries forced him to miss nine games. The year prior, however, Lynch was as productive as ever, as he rushed for 4.7 yards per carry and managed a career-high 13 touchdowns on the ground. Lynch is still only 30 years old.

In other Raiders running back news, Schefter and Anderson hear that Adrian Peterson also remains a possibility for Oakland. That interest still appears to be coming from the Peterson camp, however, as the ESPN scribes report Peterson would like the chance to join a talented Raiders squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Adrian Peterson Done In Minnesota

With the newly signed Latavius Murray set to occupy their backfield, the Vikings have closed the door on the possibility of re-signing Adrian Peterson, general manager Rick Spielman announced Thursday (Twitter link via the team).

The fact that the Vikings are moving on from Peterson comes as no surprise in the wake of the Murray acquisition. However, after the Vikings declined Peterson’s $18MM option in February, it seemed possible they’d bring him back at a far more reasonable figure. Instead, the club didn’t make the soon-to-be 32-year-old an offer.

Adrian Peterson (vertical)

Peterson will go down as one of the greatest Vikings ever, having earned seven Pro Bowls trips, five first-team All-Pro nods and an MVP (2013) since they selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft. He’ll depart Minnesota 16th on the all-time rushing list (11,747), 10th in rushing touchdowns (97) and third in yards-per-carry average (4.9), though he no longer possesses the sparkling reputation he had when he entered the league.

Peterson’s character took a hit in 2014, when he violated the league’s personal conduct policy in an incident of abusive discipline toward his then-4-year-old son. Peterson missed 15 of 16 games that season as a result, but he bounced back in 2015 to win the league’s rushing title. Unfortunately for Peterson, 2016 represented another step backward. Thanks to the meniscus tear he suffered last September, Peterson appeared in just three games and totaled a mere 37 carries in his final year as a Viking.

Now, on account of his age, the injury and his paltry 1.9 YPC last season, Peterson is having difficulty finding work in free agency. Several rumored suitors – the Texans, Patriots, Raiders, Giants – have shown little to no interest in Peterson, while the Seahawks visited with him but then opted to sign Eddie Lacy instead. Peterson will undoubtedly land somewhere in the coming months, but it’s obvious things haven’t broken his way since the Vikings declined his option.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Rumors: Poe, Seahawks, Steelers, Jaguars

Now that free agent defensive tackle Dontari Poe has concluded his visits with the Dolphins, he’ll head home to consider offers, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Poe has met with the Colts, Falcons, and Jaguars in addition to Miami, and will presumably sign with one of the clubs. Poe is PFR’s No. 2 free agent interior defender on the market, just behind Johnathan Hankins.

Here’s more from the free agent period:

  • Although Adrian Peterson visited the Seahawks earlier this week, he never entered into negotiations with the club, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Seattle was eyeing a younger back, and it found one in former Packer Eddie Lacy, whom the team signed to a one-year deal on Tuesday. Through six days of free agency, the key story around Peterson has been the number of clubs who aren’t interested in the ex-Vikings RB, who turns 32 next week. The Texans, Patriots, Raiders have all indicated they they’re not in contact with future Hall of Famer.
  • The Seahawks may have not been all that interested in Peterson, but the club might have a different opinion on free agent linebacker Michael Wilhoite, whom they will host on a visit, tweets NFL reporter Howard Balzer. Wilhoite, 30, was a full-time starter for the 49ers from 2014-15, but only started six games last year (despite appearing in all 16 contests). In that time, Wilhoite put up 46 tackles, a half-sack, and a forced fumble.
  • While the Steelers has “mild interest” in re-signing linebacker Jarvis Jones, the club never made a real effort to retain the former first-round pick before he inked a one-year deal with the Cardinals on Monday, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Jones, 27, never lived up to his draft billing, but did provide solid run defense over 35 starts in Pittsburgh. The Steelers will now roll with Arthur Moats and Anthony Chickillo behind James Harrison and Bud Dupree on the edge.
  • Tight end Chris Gragg visited the Jaguars but did not agree to a contract, as Gragg himself announced (Twitter link). Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone was in Buffalo when Gragg was made a seventh-round pick in 2013, so he should have some level of familiarity with the 26-year-old. Gragg missed the entire 2016 campaign with a torn ACL.

Latest On Seahawks’ RB Search

The Seahawks continue to organize a thorough search for a veteran running back. More clarity’s arrived on this expansive pursuit’s itinerary. Jamaal Charles will visit Seattle on Wednesday and Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

He will follow both Adrian Peterson and Latavius Murray. Peterson’s Seahawks summit encompassed Sunday and Monday, per Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter), but it looks to have concluded with the future Hall of Famer unsigned.

Murray’s visit will precede Charles’, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). Eddie Lacy is scheduled to visit, but the timing of that meeting isn’t known yet. Lacy visited the Vikings already, and Murray is visiting the Jaguars before being slated to fly to the Pacific Northwest. Peterson and Charles have not scheduled any known summits with other teams during their initial time as UFAs.

Currently, Seattle’s backfield houses Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise. Neither of which eclipsed 400 yards rushing last season, and both struggled with injuries in 2016. Rawls, though, fared much better in 2015, averaging 5.6 yards per carry after succeeding Marshawn Lynch. Rawls rushed for 830 yards despite making only seven starts. However, his per-carry figure plummeted to 3.2 last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Adrian Peterson To Visit Seahawks

The Seahawks are doing their due diligence at running back, and it turns out they do want to see what Adrian Peterson potentially has left. The defending NFC West champions will meet with the future Hall of Famer on Sunday, ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson tweets.

This comes after the team lined up visits for both Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy and Latavius Murray. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports was the first to report Peterson would trek to Seattle (Twitter link). But the last report coming out of Seattle regarding Peterson was not pointing to an imminent visit. Instead, Peterson will be part of a star-studded UFA tour for a Seahawks team that saw its young running backs fail to stay healthy last season.

Peterson has not seen his market take off despite being one of this generation’s greatest running backs. The soon-to-be 32-year-old back saw the Vikings predictably decline an $18MM price tag to bring him back for an 11th season in Minnesota. Since, he’s been connected to the Patriots, Raiders, Seahawks and Giants this offseason. None previously exibited much interest. Sunday’s trip to the Pacific Northwest could be critical not only for Peterson, but for the running back market.

The running back’s father said earlier this week, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, both the Raiders and Seahawks expressed interest in his son. But no Bay Area visit has been scheduled. Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell‘s presence piqued Peterson’s interest in the Seahawks, per Tomasson. He was the Vikings’ OC during Peterson’s first four seasons. Peterson rushed for more than 1,300 yards in three of those four slates and at least 1,200 in all four. Although, he has nearly 2,500 carries on his resume now and is obviously a different player.

A three-time rushing champion, Peterson saw a torn meniscus essentially end his Vikings tenure after 10 seasons. He averaged just 1.9 yards per carry in 2016 — an off-a-cliff drop from his usual per-tote marks — behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines. Pro Football Focus, though, graded Seattle’s group as being the league’s worst last season. So, it will be interesting to see what comes out of this meeting. With so many visits with backs scheduled, it’s unlikely the Seahawks sign Peterson on sight and don’t meet with the aforementioned ball-carriers.

Christine Michael led the Seahawks in rushing last season, but the team waived him midway through the year. Thomas Rawls finished with the most ground yards (349) of any current Seahawk but averaged just 3.2 per carry and missed seven games due to injury. Passing-down back C.J. Prosise also played in just six games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Updates On Top Remaining Free Agents

Some big names came off the board on Wednesday and Thursday, but tons of notable free agents remain. Here’s a look at some of the notables who are still out there and where they stand:

  • Adrian Peterson, RB (Vikings): Poor, poor AD. As we summed up on Friday morning, there are no clear suitors for No. 28 at this time. Despite previous reports to the contrary, the Texans, Patriots, Raiders, Giants, and Seahawks are showing little to no interest in signing the veteran running back. The incumbent Vikings haven’t put an offer on the table since declining his bloated $18MM option. Peterson is one of the best running backs in NFL history, but teams are skeptical of what he can do as he looks to rebound from another serious right knee injury on the verge of his 32nd birthday. We know that there will be teams with interest in Peterson – perhaps even some of those aforementioned clubs – but Peterson is far from their Plan A and it doesn’t sound like any team wants to pay him like a top running back. Ultimately, Peterson seems likely to settle for a low-base, one-year deal with a good amount of performance incentives. His best payday, I think, would come from the Vikings. Peterson is a fan favorite and the organization would probably like to have him finish his career in purple. With all that said, Adrian’s dad publicly trashing the team probably isn’t helping matters. Adrian Peterson (vertical)
  • Eddie Lacy, RB (Packers): The Vikings, Seahawks, and incumbent Packers seem to be the frontrunners for Lacy at this time. The Seahawks will meet with Lacy, but they also have meetings scheduled with Latavius Murray and Jamaal Charles. The Vikings, of course, are looking into Peterson replacements. Even though Lacy has had problems with consistency and conditioning over the years, he’s my top-ranked running back in this year’s FA crop.
  • Dont’a Hightower, LB (Patriots): Hightower, surely, has interest from a number of clubs. But, for whatever reason, leaks have been kept to a minimum. For all the speculation about the Dolphins and other clubs swarming the non-rush linebacker, we’ve only heard talk of “positive” dialogue between Hightower and the Pats. The Patriots are more unpredictable than ever, but I think the most likely outcome is that he re-signs. Bill Belichick was cocky enough to trade Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones in the same year – and it obviously worked out – but I don’t think he’s crazy enough to also let Hightower leave.
  • Dontari Poe, DT (Chiefs): The defensive tackle market is starting to take shape. Brandon Williams has re-upped with the Ravens on a lucrative five-year, $54MM deal that includes $27MM in guarantees. Chris Baker, considered a run below Williams and Poe, has a three-year, $15.75MM with $9MM guaranteed. We had Williams and Poe fairly close to each other on the Top 50 list and the early thinking was that they could fetch similar contracts. However, the latest word is that he may have to settle for a one-year, prove-it deal. The Falcons, 49ers, and Redskins have been linked to Poe this week, but the Redskins might not be in the market for him anymore after adding Stacy McGee.
  • Johnathan Hankins, DT (Giants): Hankins’ camp has been keeping things on the QT. There have been estimates that he could fetch around $7MM to $8MM per year (or more) on a multi-year deal. The Giants would love to keep the soon-to-be 25-year-old and we’re sure that other teams want him too, but there have been zero leaks from his negotiations. Hankins may not be as good as Williams right now, but the age factor could allow him to approach or top his contract. Teams also might feel better about committing years and dollars to Hankins over Poe. Of course, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison since Hankins is a 4-3 DT and Williams and Poe are 3-4 nose tackles. They are different players and they have different groups of suitors due to their scheme fits.
  • T.J. Lang, G (Packers): Lang is a talented guard, but teams are concerned about his surgically-repaired hip. Right now, the Packers, Lions, and Seahawks are known to be in the mix for him, but he might not sign right away as teams go over his medical info. Teams might want to see him work out in full before committing to him. He’s ranked No. 14 overall on my Top 50 list and was second only to Kevin Zeitler on our list of free agent interior linemen.
  • Martellus Bennett, TE (Patriots): There’s heavy mutual interest between the Raiders and Bennett and the Giants and Bills have also been linked to him. However, after the Giants spent a good chunk of coin to add Rhett Ellison, it’s not clear if Bennett is still a consideration. Bennett is far and away the best available tight end out there and he should fetch a nice payday for himself. It’s just not clear where that might be. A Patriots return can be ruled out after the Dwayne Allen trade. The Lions are also looking into tight ends, but we haven’t specifically heard about them reaching out to Bennett.
  • Jared Cook, TE (Packers): The second-best tight end on the board is drawing interest from the Lions and Bills. Contract talks with the Packers have reportedly broken off, so he could very well wind up leaving.
  • Jabaal Sheard, DE (Patriots): The Dolphins were linked to Sheard, but I’m guessing they’re no longer interested after acquiring William Hayes in a brilliant trade with the Rams on Thursday. He’s on his way to meet with the Colts and we haven’t heard a peep about any possible Pats reunion. Towards the end of the season, the feeling was that Sheard would not be back in New England.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson is content to wait through first wave of free agency before exploring his options, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com tweets. Peterson is “still in no rush to sign,” he adds, and that’s probably a good thing since we still haven’t heard of one team having strong interest in signing him at this time. "<strong

When the Vikings declined Peterson’s $18MM option, there was immediately word of several contending clubs having interest. Since then, we’ve learned that the market isn’t quite as hot as those reports indicated. Since Wednesday, it has been reported that the Texans, Patriots, Raiders, and Seahawks have shown little to no interest in signing Peterson. A return to the Vikings could still be in store for him, but Minnesota has yet to make an offer since turning down the option.

A Vikings return could be the most logical outcome for Peterson, but there’s no guarantee that option will be there as the club looks into free agent Eddie Lacy and other running backs. Even as far as aging running backs go, Peterson isn’t at the top of the heap in the eyes of most clubs. Jamaal Charles, apparently, is garnering more interest than AD.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.