Adrian Peterson

NFC West Notes: Garoppolo, Peterson, Ward

49ers GM John Lynch is in constant contact with Jimmy Garoppolo‘s agent Don Yee, but their conversations have not included contract negotiations.

It’s kind of refreshing to talk to him because of the way he’s dealt with Tom [Brady], a lot of people have learned: He really wants these guys just to go focus on their business,” Lynch told KNBR (transcription via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). “We’ve agreed that ‘Hey, there’s going to be a time for that, let’s keep in regular contact.’ But, no, we haven’t started discussions. I’m sure that will come in due time. And we’re looking forward to that time.”

Recently, Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he does not expect an extension for the quarterback to be completed before the end of the year. Garoppolo is technically eligible for free agency this offseason, but the Niners are expected to use the franchise tag on him if they cannot hammer out a long-term deal.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • When asked if Adrian Peterson could be on the Cardinals in 2018, coach Bruce Arians said yes (Twitter link via Darren Urban of the team’s site). Arians added that Peterson and the returning David Johnson could co-exist. On Friday, Peterson announced that he intends to play next year, but the Cardinals have the option of cutting him without any financial penalty.
  • An extension for safety Jaquiski Tartt appears to be high on the 49ers‘ list of priorities this offseason, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Tartt’s season ended in early November with a broken forearm, but was among the team’s leaders in tackles. This will be the first offseason in which the Niners are able to negotiate a multi-year extension with the 2015 second-round pick.
  • Meanwhile, the 49ers have defensive back Jimmie Ward under contract for next year thanks to his fifth-year option, but they’ll have to think long and hard about retaining him, Maiocco writes. Ward’s inability to stay on the field (he’s missed 14 games over the last two seasons) could deter the team from bringing him back at that rate. His ability to play either cornerback or free safety is a plus, but it’s also something of a double-edged sword in this case. Because he played cornerback last year, his option price for 2018 jumped from $5.597MM to $8.526MM.
  • 49ers like safety Eric Reid, but it’s hard to imagine them getting into a bidding war for him in free agency with Tartt, Ward, and Adrian Colbert under contract, according to Maiocco. But, at the right price, the Niners would probably welcome him back.

Adrian Peterson To Return In 2018

Adrian Peterson‘s season is over, but his career is not. The veteran running back says that he’ll be back on the field in 2018. Adrian Peterson (vertical)

The good news is my neck injury doesn’t require surgery, but I’m told by Dr. Robert Watkins that the best thing for me is just more rest than the length of the season. Obviously, I’m disappointed about going on IR when my body is still able to produce but I look forward to returning completely healthy for another season in 2018,” Peterson said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity that the Arizona Cardinals have given me to show that I can still contribute on an NFL team.”

Peterson averaged just 3.5 yards per carry for the Cardinals, but he did show flashes of his old self on a couple of occasions. In his Cards debut, Peterson ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns off of 26 carries. A couple of weeks later, he racked up 159 rushing yards against the Niners.

Peterson remains under contract for one more season, but the Cardinals could instead release him and save $3.5MM against the cap. With David Johnson returning, the Cardinals will have to ask themselves whether it’s worthwhile to pay Peterson that much to serve as a backup. Even if they like the idea of Peterson as an insurance policy, it’s not a given that the veteran will be willing to come off of the bench.

The future Hall of Famer turns 33 in March.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Place RB Adrian Peterson On IR

The Cardinals have placed veteran running back Adrian Peterson on injured reserve, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Peterson is dealing with a neck injury, but won’t require surgery, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com."<strong

Peterson hadn’t played since Week 12, and just yesterday Arizona head coach Bruce Arians indicated he “had no idea” if Peterson would play again this season. The Cardinals’ decision-makers evidently decided that running Peterson out for the final three games of the year wasn’t worth the risk, especially given that the 6-7 club has virtually no chance of earning a postseason berth in a stacked NFC.

Arizona acquired Peterson from the Saints in early October, shipping a conditional 2018 sixth-round pick in exchange for the 32-year-old back. The exact parameters of that trade have yet to be reported, so it’s unclear exactly what kind of return the Saints will get for Peterson. But clearing his salary off their books was likely incentive enough for the deal, and allowed New Orleans to move on from an unwise two-year contract.

Upon hitting the desert, Peterson was immediately more involved in the Cards’ offense that he’d ever been with the Saints, and posted 134 yards on the ground and two touchdowns in his Arizona debut. He’s been up-and-down since that point, however, and topped 80 yards just once more in his final five games of the 2017 campaign. In three of those contests, Peterson didn’t even manage two yards per carry.

Peterson is under contract in 2018 with a cost of $3.5MM attached, but it’s not readily apparent as to whether general manager Steve Keim & Co. have any intention of retaining Peterson. The Cardinals will see the return of dynamic third-year pro David Johnson in 2018, meaning Peterson would be relegated to backup duty. Arizona would clear Peterson’s entire cap charge by cutting ties.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Browns, Mayfield, Pats, Cards

New Browns general manager John Dorsey still has more than five months to formulate plans for the 2018 draft, but he’s watched six games of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and come away impressed, according to Peter King of TheMMQB.com“I want to be able to project and articulate my opinion when the time comes and it matters,” Dorsey said. “I saw [Mayfield] at Kansas this year, in the OU-Kansas game. You’re darn right he’s a good quarterback, no matter how tall he is. Some would say he’s too short, but I would ask you: How tall is Russell Wilson? How tall is Chase Daniel?” Cleveland appears to be lock to boast two top-10 selections in next year’s draft, meaning the club will have a chance at finding a franchise signal-caller.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell is not expected to return to the Patriots‘ active roster this year, tweets Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, which could have led to New England signing free agent pass-catcher Kenny Britt, opines Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Mitchell, a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft, has been on injured reserve for the duration of this season while dealing with a knee injury. Britt, meanwhile, stands 6’3″, 223 pounds, meaning he’ll give the Patriots a larger presence on the outside. As Reiss notes, New England made a similar late-season addition a year ago, claiming physical wideout Michael Floyd off waivers for the stretch run.
  • Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians admitted he has “no idea” if Adrian Peterson will recover from his neck injury in time to play again this season, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Peterson, 32, has been up and down since being dealt to Arizona, as he’s topped 75 yards in half his six games as a Cardinal but failed to top two yards per carry in the other three contests. With a 6-7 record in a stacked NFC playoff picture, Arizona doesn’t have much to play for down the stretch, so it could conceivably shut Peterson down. He’s under contract for 2018 at a cost of $3.5MM, a figure that could be untenable given the return of David Johnson in 2018.
  • Rival teams are showing interest in Raiders practice squad defensive lineman Fadol Brown, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). On Wednesday, the Raiders opted to promote Darius Latham to provide depth up front, meaning other clubs still have a chance to pounce on the Ole Miss product. Brown, an undrafted rookie, has spent the entirety of the 2017 campaign on Oakland’s practice squad. In a predraft profile, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com said Brown “sets a strong edge” in the run game but is a poor pass rusher due to “lazy” hands.
  • Former general manager Scot McCloughan‘s grievance against the Redskins could cause problems for the club’s scouting staff (every member of which could be asked to testify), a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. If Washington’s personnel members favor McCloughan, they could potentially face retribution from current ream president Bruce Allen, but if the scouts speak in favor of the Redskins, they fear other teams — who possibly enjoy a relationship with McCloughan — may not hire them in the future, per Florio. The hearing for McCloughan’s grievance is set to begin next Monday, December 18.

West Notes: Chiefs, Garoppolo, Peterson

There is a “strong expectation” the Chiefs will trade Alex Smith this offseason, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. There could be a “historic” quarterback market in 2018, a league source told La Canfora, and Smith’s name may be a key part of it. The fifth-year Kansas City starter has just one more season left on his contract, and the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes waiting in the wings. While Mahomes is viewed as a project, and one that might not necessarily mesh with the Chiefs’ veteran core right away, Smith has struggled after a hot start — although, he has four touchdown passes today — and has the Chiefs teetering on the fringe of the AFC race despite a 5-0 run to open the season. The Chiefs sent two second-round picks to the 49ers for a then-28-year-old Smith in 2013, and while their return might not be quite on that level given Smith’s age (34 in May) and contract status, the supply-and-demand issues at this position figure to make Smith a valuable trade chip. Smith is due to comprise $20.6MM of K.C.’s 2018 cap.

Here’s more from the Western divisions, continuing with the quarterback carousel that could take place.

  • The 49ers do not sound especially eager to dangle Jimmy Garoppolo as a trade piece upon franchising him as they’re expected to, but La Canfora reports there could be a market for such a move. Multiple execs would be interested in exploring Garoppolo trade talks, per JLC, should the 49ers go after ex-Kyle Shanahan protege Kirk Cousins. While the Cousins-to-San Francisco talk has died down since the Garoppolo trade, the Redskins passer could be a tag-and-trade candidate as well. Garoppolo made his first start for the 49ers today, and it may take a rough December from the quarterback to convince the 49ers to abandon this project so soon.
  • Adrian Peterson will not be available for the Cardinals in their pivotal game against the Rams. The running back suffered a neck injury against the Jaguars last week, and he’ll miss his first game of the season. Peterson missed most of last season due to a knee injury. Kerwynn Williams will start for Arizona, which at 5-6 is facing essentially a must-win game.
  • On the subject of injured Cardinals, Carson Palmer is not yet ready to close the door on a 2017 return. However, the Cards probably need to win today sans-Peterson to keep that door ajar.
  • The Chargers will use a fourth kicker of the season today, having swapped out Nick Novak-for-Travis Coons.

Extra Points: Patriots, Maxwell, Peterson

Following months of speculation, the Patriots finally pulled the trigger on a Jimmy Garoppolo trade during last week’s deadline. Today, coach Bill Belichick provided some clarity on the transaction, noting that the team did not shop around the quarterback during this past offseason.

“There was no market to trade Jimmy in April, on our end,” Belichick said during an appearance on WEEI (via Doug Kyed of NESN.com). “I don’t really care what the offer was. I don’t even know what the offers were, or would have been. There was no interest on our end in making that deal. It didn’t really matter what the offer was, or would the offer would have been. I don’t really know what they were because we never entertained it.

“As I said, we had the best depth at that position probably of any team in the league, or at least we felt like we did. Maybe other teams felt different, I don’t know. We had great depth at that position. It was a tremendous situation to have two quarterbacks of the caliber we’ve had the past call it two and a half years from when Jimmy was ready. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t sustainable.”

There were whispers that the Browns had pursued Garoppolo during the offseason, but it sounds like the Patriots weren’t even willing to pick up the phone.

Let’s take a look at some other notes from around the NFL…

  • Brian Hoyer has a number of suitors after he was let go by the 49ers, but the quarterback told Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com that signing with the Patriots was a no-brainer. “I think for me, that was kind of the excitement of coming back home, and to be able to play behind Tom [Brady] and be in this organization,” Hoyer said. “And I was OK with. I think for me, having played a lot, you’re always ready to play, but it wasn’t going to work out for me to be a starter there in San Francisco the rest of this year, anyways, and probably not for next year. So I think for me, when I had an opportunity to come here and be the backup to Tom and in this organization, it was kind of a no-brainer.”
  • After working out with the Falcons, cornerback Byron Maxwell will not be signing a contract this evening, reports ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. Of course, the writer also notes that the defensive back hasn’t been ruled out, so a transaction could still be a possibility.
  • Even after he missed three field goal attempts on Sunday against Washington, the Seahawks say they will not move on from kicker Blair Walsh. “No, we will not,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters (via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com). “He’s 12-for-13 going into the game, guys. That was a hard day for whatever reason. We didn’t kick the ball off very well, either. It was just a hard day to kick the ball for us.” Walsh’s misses proved to be costly as Seattle lost by three points.
  • After a slow start to the season, Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson may actually reach some of his monetary incentives. As former agent Joel Corry notes on Twitter, the veteran’s contract calls for an extra $150K if he reaches 750 rushing yards. After compiling only 81 rushing yards in four games with the Saints, the veteran has collected 314 in three games with the Cardinals, meaning he only needs another 355 rushing yards in eight more games.
  • The number of agents certified by the NFL Players Association has risen 4%, from 795 to 830, Liz Mullen of SBJ writes. That figure includes 119 new agents who became certified this summer. Meanwhile, 84 agents either lost or dropped their certification. One can lose certification by not negotiating an NFL deal within a three-year period, missing the yearly union seminar, or not paying dues.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Peterson, Vikings, Kuechly

Bruce Arians came up with the idea for the Cardinals to acquire Adrian Peterson, doing so after his team’s blowout loss to the Eagles. Arians was driving to the team facility when the concept emerged, Lars Anderson of Bleacher Report notes. The Cardinals coach watched every Peterson carry with the Saints to make sure the 32-year-old future Hall of Famer still had enough to be a solution for an Arizona rushing attack that still ranks last in the league because of its anemic start. Arians then took the idea to Steve Keim, who called Saints GM Mickey Loomis, Anderson reports.

He ran hard and could get something out of nothing,” Arians said. “We had finesse backs on our team. I was looking for that power guy. He was it, brother, he was it.”

Immediately installed as Arizona’s starter, Peterson turned back the clock and rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns in his Cardinals debut. The former five-time All-Pro said previously he wants to play into his late 30s, but that dialogue stopped in New Orleans. But Peterson has resumed that talking point now as a Cardinal, eyeing “four or five” more seasons.

I felt like my ability was going to waste in New Orleans,” Peterson said, via Anderson. “The system just wasn’t a good fit for me. But I still want to play four or five more years. I still can run a high-4.3 40. And I’ve always loved getting the ball deep in the backfield, which is what we’re doing here. I feel like I’m built for this offense.”

Here’s the latest from the NFC, shifting to Peterson’s first two NFL employers.

  • The Vikings are starting Case Keenum again this week, the team announced. Mike Zimmer, though, said he believes Sam Bradford will play again this season, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. This will be Keenum’s fifth start of the year. Bradford’s status has gone from somewhat surprising inactive in Week 2 to being potentially out for six weeks to having the knee be categorized as worse than what’s been reported. Bradford consulted with a specialist last week, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com notes. The eighth-year quarterback saw this same specialist previously, per Zimmer. Teddy Bridgewater returned to practice but likely remains far away from playing in a game.
  • Luke Kuechly will miss the Panthers‘ Week 7 tilt against the Bears after suffering a concussion in Week 6. David Mayo will replace Kuechly at middle linebacker, Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk notes. Kuechly has missed time because of concussions in each of the past two seasons but was progressing in the protocol earlier this week.
  • Minnesota will also be without Stefon Diggs this weekend, with the Vikes’ No. 1 wide receiver set to miss a second straight game because of a groin injury.
  • Saints practice squad offensive lineman Cameron Tom recently had his salary bumped to $27K+ per week, according to a source who spoke with Nick Underhill of The Advocate. He was previously making $7,200 per week. Assuming he stays on the taxi squad through the end of the season, he’ll earn $344K as opposed to $122K. His weekly pay is now equal to a minimum salaried player on the 53-man roster ($465K). It’s a sign that the Saints think highly of Tom and that other teams have thought about signing him away.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

Ravens Had Interest In Adrian Peterson

The Ravens had interest in trading for running back Adrian Peterson before the Saints dealt him to the Cardinals, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).Adrian Peterson (vertical)

New Orleans ultimately acquired a 2018 conditional sixth-round pick for Peterson, so it’s unclear if Baltimore simply didn’t want to meet that asking price, or if Peterson perhaps indicated he’d prefer to play for the Cardinals. Peterson claims he did not request a trade away from the Saints, but it’s entirely possible general manager Mickey Loomis & Co. allowed him some say on his destination.

Baltimore has dealt with a number of injuries at the running back position, as Kenneth Dixon and Danny Woodhead are both on injured reserve. While Woodhead is eligible to begin practicing again in late October, the Ravens don’t currently have a timeline for his return, reports Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Dixon, meanwhile, will miss the entirety of the season, while Terrance West will be sidelined for a few weeks with a calf injury.

Javorius Allen and Alex Collins have handled the bulk of the Ravens’ carries in recent weeks, and figure to do so going forward. After missing out on Peterson, Baltimore re-signed veteran journeyman Bobby Rainey, who has already earned his paycheck in Week 6 by returning a kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown against the Bears.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Peterson, Booker, Bowman

Adrian Peterson is the Cardinals‘ latest David Johnson replacement solution, but interestingly, a potential Peterson-to-Arizona path was discussed two years ago. The running back’s agent, Ben Dogra, contacted Cardinals GM Steve Keim during the first round of the 2015 draft and told Peterson to work friend Larry Fitzgerald about a possible trade to Arizona, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports. Peterson was then a disgruntled Vikings employee, lobbying for more guaranteed money — which he eventually received. But the Cardinals drafted Johnson a night later in the third round, and the Vikings ended up redoing Peterson’s contract. Peterson went on to lead the NFL in rushing with 1,485 yards that season en route to his fifth All-Pro first team appearance. The Cardinals then went with Chris Johnson before David Johnson took over late in that 13-3 campaign.

Peterson said earlier this week upon being traded to the Cards he did want a change of scenery from a Saints setup that wasn’t working for him but added he didn’t request a trade. The 32-year-old back is now Arizona’s starter, and the future Hall of Famer will be tasked with turning around a Cardinals rushing attack that’s been by far the worst in the league.

Here’s the latest from some Western-division teams.

  • On the subject of what-if trades, it appears a rumor emerged involving the Cowboys being linked to Broncos running back Devontae Booker is unfounded. Both the Denver Post’s Nicki Jhabvala and 9News’ Mike Klis shot down this talk (Twitter links), Jhabvala going as far as saying a deal involving the second-year back is “not even a remote possibility.” Although the Broncos have C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles healthy, both have extensive injury histories. Booker does as well but is controlled through 2019 on a rookie deal.
  • At least two teams were “seriously interested” in a NaVorro Bowman trade, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports. But the 49ers, due to his longevity and impact with the team, allowed the 29-year-old linebacker to veto a deal. John Lynch confirmed one team did want Bowman, only the eighth-year ‘backer didn’t want to play for the unnamed franchise. Barrows adds the four-time All-Pro became frustrated by being subbed out during multiple series per game.
  • Branden Albert worked out for the Seahawks this week and was still in the Seattle area as of Friday, but finances may be holding up a deal. While no terms have been reported about a potential Albert/Hawks agreement, the Seahawks may be attempting to save a week’s worth of salary by not signing Albert until the start of next week, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com writes. The Seahawks are off this week. Albert was also scheduled to work out for the Giants, who are having similar offensive line issues, but has yet to do so.

Adrian Peterson: I Did Not Request Trade

Adrian Peterson is happy to have left the Saints. But, he also says that he did not force his way into a trade sending him to the Cardinals. Adrian Peterson (vertical)

I’ll be lying to you to say that I didn’t want a change of scenery after four weeks of seeing how things played out,” Peterson said (via ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss). “So, yeah, it was something that I was praying about — ‘Hey, God, I need you to answer this prayer for me. Are you listening to me?’ But in the midst of that, I was still tuned in and locked in. I had a great day of practice Monday, great day of practice. It was hot, too. It was outside. It was a good day. It was rough, but I was still locked in and taking care of my business, and the prayer was answered.”

Peterson is jazzed about the fresh start, but it’s not clear exactly what the Cardinals will be able to get out of him. Last year, Peterson spent the majority of the season hurt and averaged only 1.9 yards per carry when on the field. Meanwhile, he’s not getting any younger and while some quarterbacks seem to age like fine wine, running backs tend to age like seafood. Despite what the critics have to say, the 32-year-old insists that he has plenty left in the tank.

I have so much left,” Peterson said. “I look to play at least four to five more years, God willing. I have a lot left in the tank. Stay tuned and you guys will be able to see that first-hand.

We’ll soon find out what Peterson is capable of, starting with Sunday’s game against the Bucs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.