In multiple reports over the course of Thursday, as I’m sure a lot of you have seen, the Vikings essentially have said that they have yet to discuss the $18 million dollar question with their “star” running back, in Adrian Peterson, but that the Vikings will address his status on/with the team before free agency starts. Considering the fact that free agency begins on the ninth of next month, and again that they have yet to discuss his contract either with him or whomever is representing him (Now that his former agent and forever D-Bag, Ben Dogra is out of the league), it’s looking like Peterson’s time in Purple and Gold is all but done.
That soon to be fact was bolstered by a chat that Vikings general manager Rick Spielman had with reporters this week at Winter Park. Besides essentially stating the above, he also said:
“In my mind, regardless of whether Adrian is here or not here next year because of whatever happens, he will always be a Minnesota Viking,” Spielman said.
Which, really, sounds to me like the kind words one would say after a player is let go. But I may be reading too much into a “press conference” that really didn’t say a lot. But, since we’re already reading too much into things, I also think that Spielman’s assessment of this year’s running back class (In the draft), speaks to the Vikings decision (As in, yes, already made) to move on from Peterson.
Spielman said that this was the best class of running backs that he’s “Ever seen”. And while this year’s class has been known to be deep for a long time, I’m surprised that it’s the best that Spielman has ever seen. Sure, I haven’t done a ton of work, yet, regarding the draft, but I’d have to argue that the 2015 class was stronger, as it had David Johnson, Tevin Coleman, Melvin Gordon, Ameer Abdullah, etc. Sure, a lot of those guys have a “Remain to be seen” career ahead of them, but at the time that draft class was at least on paper better than Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara, but as I said, I haven’t done all of my studying yet for April’s shin-ding, so I very well could be wrong.
Either way, as most Vikings fans seem to have been hoping lately, it’s looking like Peterson’s time as a Viking is up. I’ve always been on the side of, if we can get him to take a pretty massive pay-cut, I’d love to have him on the team. Mainly because I wasn’t sure if the team had the picks available to find a half-way decent replacement for him in the mid-rounds of this April’s draft. Now, if Spielman can somehow figure that out or rather find that back, then I’d definitely welcome the move. Mostly because I don’t believe that Peterson is the all around back that this offense needs/could compensate for slowing down with age.