The Minnesota Vikings parted ways with star running back Adrian Peterson earlier this week after they decided his US$18 million payday next season was not worth the risk.
Now, with the seven-time Pro Bowler set to hit free agency for the first time in his illustrious career, where he ends up next could be anyone's guess. Below are four teams who could make a move:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Peterson reportedly ranks the Buccaneers high on his list of preferred destinations. With Doug Martin set to miss the first three games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, there is every chance Peterson could assert himself as the feature back. However, with Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey listed as tempting first-round picks in this year's upcoming draft, you have to wonder if the 32 year-old still has what it takes.
Peterson donning the Silver and Black is a definite possibility. As Latavius Murray tests the free agency waters, Peterson could be a perfect replacement as the tailback. Despite averaging four yards per carry last season, Murray's total reps began to decline in favour of Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. Peterson's potential as a two-down power back in Oakland carries significant weight, especially when you take their formidable offensive line into account.
Last season the Denver Broncos struggled to get their ground game going. After C.J. Anderson was placed on injured reserve midway through the season, rookie Devontae Booker struggled to fill the void as the preferred option, posting a measly 368 yards from 123 carries over his last eight games. As a result, having Peterson on the Broncos' roster would give this offence a much-needed boost. Should general manager John Elway elect to pursue this path, we could be looking at a revamped running game for the Mile High city in 2017.
No, this is not a joke. Though Ezekiel Elliott comfortably led the league in rushing yards last season, there is a chance Peterson could join him in Jerry World - as a backup. Indeed, Peterson has never been a backup, but as he returns from a decimating knee injury, perhaps this new role at a genuine Super Bowl contender could lure the future Hall of Famer down south. After all, Texas is his home state.
Jerry Jones reportedly wants to pair Adrian Peterson with Zeke. pic.twitter.com/wJ139TmyRR— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 28, 2017