Trade rumors swirled throughout the NFL last season concerning the league’s best running back, the Minnesota Viking’s Adrian Peterson. Now, one Minnesota media member believes Peterson will not play for the Vikings after this season. And that he could very well land in Dallas.
“Adrian Peterson, 29, probably will need to have a 2,000-yard season to return to the Vikings next year, mainly because his salary ($14.4 million this season) increases to $15.4 million in 2015, and that’s prohibitive for anything less than a sensational running back in his eighth NFL season,” said Charley Walters of TwinCities.com on Saturday. “Should Peterson, who is signed for $31 million in 2015-2016, decline a pay cut next year, he could become a free agent. The home-state Dallas Cowboys could be his next destination.”
Peterson is a native of Palestine, Texas. He famously played his college ball at Oklahoma. And Peterson makes an annual return home to Texas for his youth football camp.
But would Dallas even be interested in signing/trading for Peterson in the first place? That would depend on the status of current starting running back DeMarco Murray. The fourth-year back is coming off his best season as a professional. In 2013, Murray ran for 1,121 yards and 10 total touchdowns in 14 games. But his biggest struggle has been injuries. During his three year career, Murray has missed a total of 11 games.
This season is the final year of Murray’s rookie contract. And it is unclear if Dallas intends on re-signing the 26-year old to an extension. If they do, then signing a player like Peterson would make little to no sense.
But if the Cowboys decide to go a different direction at year’s end, Peterson would certainly be an attractive addition to the roster. Unfortunately, I’m not sure his age and contract would entice Dallas to do so. Peterson is 29 years old. Age 30 is considered old for most running backs. Then again, Peterson is not most running backs. He is literally a physical freak. As showcased by his nine month recovery from a torn ACL and MCL followed by his 2,000+ rushing season with the Vikings. It would not surprise me if Peterson was effective into his mid-thirties. But he is certainly the exception and not the rule in the NFL.