Can Oakland’s Defense stop Adrian Peterson?

Today the Vikings chose to decline the 2017 option on Adrian Peterson, officially making the future hall of fame RB a free agent.

Of course, every team is interested in an Adrian Peterson type of player, I wouldn’t have bothered with this if it had been from any local bay area hack.

Since it’s not:

According to his twitter bio: Covering Minnesota Vikings and NFL for St. Paul Pioneer Press.  That probably means there could be some fire causing this smoke.

This move was no surprise, Peterson was set to earn 18 million before the Vikings chose sanity over sentimentality.  Anyone who’s watched Peterson recently expected this decision, and teams (probably even Oakland) have likely been in contact with his agent for several weeks.

From ESPN’s First Take last month:

“Wow,” Peterson said. “Well, if that doesn’t happen — And I’ve earned my way up to the 18 [million dollar contract] by the way, let me say that – but if it doesn’t happen, a place where me and my family were comfortable. Opportunity to compete for a championship. That’s one goal that—my main goal that I want to accomplish, is go somewhere where I can win a championship. With that, I know having a good defense, so a team that has a good defense; a good offensive scheme as well; and a great coaching staff. That really helps.”

We’ll just ignore that “good defense” comment because once the zero’s are written out, this shit defense will become the 85 Bears in Peterson’s eyes.

An Al Davis move if there ever was one

This isn’t the Adrian Peterson we’ve known since passing on him in 2006 (for some fat QB I’ve blocked from my memory).  This Adrian Peterson is an old, tired, broken down version of his former self.  Before his meniscus injury in week two, Peterson had rushed 31 times for 50 yards.  It’s a short sample size, but considering the life span of the average NFL running back, it should be enough to generate some pause before handing out millions and (more importantly) committing to the workload required to find out if he is in fact, done.  In 3 weeks, Peterson will turn 32 years old, if anyone can come back, it’s probably him, but far from a sure thing.

With that said, there probably is some intrigue by Reggie McKenzie- a man who spent many years scouting players he thought could help mitigate the twice-a-year damage done by Peterson.  In the NFL, familiarity often attracts players within the same division, and that same familiarity, could be a potential marriage in the making.

… but the Mark Davis factor

Davis has taken a vocal stance against players with history of domestic violence.  While technically not domestic violence, Peterson’s past is walking a thin line that Davis may not be willing to overlook.

The fit

A player like Adrian Peterson fits any offense, any scheme, he’s one of the all time greats.  This is not a matter of fit or style, it’s all dependent on how much he has left in the tank.  At a one year guarantee of 4 million’ish, he could be worth the gamble, but I’d hate to see the team risk anything more than that because the playing time obligation becomes too great.  Once a large sum is handed out, a team is required to give that player reps to prove his worth.  A young offense such as the Raiders, doesn’t need to depend on a 32 year old running back hoping to find the fountain of youth.  With Richard and Washington splitting time, the Raiders need to find a reliable bruiser capable of 10 carries per game and ability to pick up the blitz, while Peterson may be that player, his price might not justify the role.

The 2017 draft is loaded with RB’s, it might be one of the most talented RB groups in years.  The right strategy is looking to find the next Adrian Peterson because the current Adrian Peterson, might not ever be him again.

If we are to believe Peterson, and he’s truly interested in a team with a good defense, stopping Adrian Peterson could be the best thing this D has going for it.



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