They did it!
In a move that should officially mark the end of Adrian Peterson’s time in Minnesota, the Vikings announced late last night that they had agreed to terms with former Oakland Raiders running back, Latavius Murray, who had visited the team on Tuesday. This move should come as a relief to many (or some) of the fans who have been upset by the Vikings free agency moves thus far, or at least those worried that they were going to have too many needs to cover in the draft (Like me) after the losses incurred since free agency began last Thursday.
Murray is actually a larger back than Peterson was, if you can believe it, standing at 6’3″ (against AP’s 6’2″) and weighing around 230 pounds (against AP’s 225). While he doesn’t have the top end speed that even a 32 year old Peterson still does, he is a much better blocker and pass catching back, meaning that he can stay on the field for all three does if the Vikings need him to. Murray rushed for 788 yards and a career-high 12 touchdown’s last season in Oakland at a four yards per carry clip.
According to NFL.com, Murray said of Minnesota:
“It was an experience, obviously it being my first time, I didn’t really know what to expect,” Murray said to the Vikings’ team site of his free agency experience. “But just glad to get the chance to play the game again with a great team with great history here in Minnesota.”
The move also means that the Vikings have (mostly) addressed their top two needs in free agency, with the addition of Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers at the tackle positions late last week. While they may still make additional moves at both positions this week or in the draft, they can at least rest a bit easier knowing that they don’t need to trade up into the first to nab one of the few high quality tackles or spend a high pick on an elite running back. Now they can draft more for depth, especially with Jerick McKinnon on the roster being able to bring the change of pace that he’s always meant to have.
Color me psyched!