Vikings and NFL legend Cris Carter was in town this weekend launching a few new bowling alleys for Brunswick Bowling Alleys. I actually had a chance to interview him, but apparently we didn’t make the cut (Maybe next year?) as there were too many media requests and apparently we’re not big enough, yet (We’ll get there!). Because of that, though, I did have a ton of questions prepared for Carter and since I wasn’t able to use them, I figured I’d just hijack someone else’s interview from Saturday, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, since he asked similar questions.
Tomasson spoke with Carter about the Adrian Peterson situation. Carter said:
“I didn’t think (Peterson) would finish his career with the Vikings,’’ Carter said. “If you look at the number of times he’s been injured the last couple of years and then also the price, what’s going to be your price point?’’ Carter said. “Eventually, everybody has an expiration date, including Adrian. I think the Vikings have gone about it the right way. … I’m sure Adrian wanted to play for something significant (in salary).”
This is such a loaded quote, as there is so much to talk about in it. First, obviously, regarding the point used in the title of this piece (The expiration thing), Carter’s right. The NFL is a business and regardless of how great a player is or was, there’s always a breaking, or expiration point. Peterson seemingly reached his more than once, with the Vikings keeping him around more out of necessity than anything else. The offense needed a running back like Peterson and he did carry the team, for more than one season. But, there’s only so much a team can take, especially when a player plays less than 20 of his last 48 games and is due $18 million dollars.
He also pointed out Peterson’s injuries, which had to be a huge contributing factor in Spielman and companies minds. Had Peterson played last year and performed at the same level he did in 2015, I’m not so sure that Latavius Murray would be our starter in 2017. But, as Carter points out, Peterson does want a decent amount of money because in Peterson’s mind he’s still the same running back who lead the league in yards in 2015. Keep in mind this is the same guy who used his child abuse charge/suspension to hold out for a contract increase. So, his thought process has clearly been skewed by years of being surrounded by yes men and a father that is hyper controlling and apparently good at burning bridges for his son.
Beyond that, though, Carter said that he does believe that Peterson does have some game left in him. Saying:
“I think he has some football left in him, I think football is a game that’s very, very hard if you don’t practice. Adrian hasn’t practiced a lot the last two years, so I think it’s affected his overall ability to be effective in the game.’’
Man, Carter was firing on all cylinders yesterday. It would’ve been nice to pick up on that IN PERSON. But again, perhaps next year (At the rate we’ve been growing, it looks like there’s a good chance). People have said that, sure, Adrian Peterson is 32 but he’s only played in one of the past three seasons! So, he’s effectively 29, if you include his ACL injury season! But, like Carter says, not playing takes it’s toll, also. Just ask someone like Jake Long, who blew out his Achilles with less than 20 seconds on the clock for next to no reason because he hadn’t really played in a long time. Or, just ask Peterson’s re-emerging fumble problem in 2015. After mostly correcting that issue in and before 2013, Peterson began fumbling again in 2015, with one effectively losing their home playoff game against the Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Again, because he hadn’t played and forgot what it was like to really get hit. So, yeah, he might be fresh, but that doesn’t mean it’ll translate over to the game.
That, combined with his age, is why Peterson is still a free agent. Oh yeah, and the fact that Peterson is probably looking for an inordinate amount of money for someone in his situation. So, Carter essentially hit the nail on the head when it comes to the Peterson/Murray issue and also touched on Laquon Treadwell (Who he’s apparently been in contact with since he joined the Vikings) and Teddy Bridgewater, but those are topics for other articles (Which will be done, soon!). So, again, man, it would’ve been amazing to meet and chat with Carter, but I did get to email some questions to his handlers in the hopes that he would have time to read and respond to some of them. I’m still holding out hope that that happened. So, stay tuned for that and the Treadwell/Bridgewater piece and hopefully an email interview with Carter!