The Buccaneers Might Still Land Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson going to the Bucs talk has faded, but recent developments could make the Buccaneers favorites to land the veteran running back.
Earlier in the offseason, Adrian Peterson to the Buccaneers was topping headlines after he listed the Buccaneers as one of three teams he could see himself playing for following his impending release from the Minnesota Vikings. Peterson was indeed released, but today remains a free agent. It almost seemed as though the Buccaneers didn’t even pay him much mind.
After recent developments, that may not be the case much longer.
Even with such a small sample size, it is no secret that Jameis Winston is the absolute leader of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad. From providing for the community, to leading players on the field, when the third-year quarterback has something to say, the Buccaneers brass is listening. For example, when Winston said, “You better believe we want DeSean here” to Tampa Bay Times reporter Greg Auman, the front office made it a priority to make sure DeSean Jackson would be wearing Bucs colors next season. Now the front office isis keeping their ear at Jameis’s door for another reason.
Learned the extremes that Michael & Kobe were willing to go from arguably the greatest trainer of all time from Tim Grover. Watched a proud, high-powered All-Star (Adrian Peterson) train like a rookie trying to make a team. Most of all, witnessed a young 22 yr old quarterback lead a group of NFL vets like a 5-star general. Today was a DAY! #HowCoolIsThis #SlayOn
Players on different teams often participate in offseason workouts together and it doesn’t necessarily make any noise in the media. Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter, however, that made one such instance newsworthy.
According to ESPN.com, Koetter’s statement of his budding star quarterback spending offseason workout time with future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson seems to hint there may be interest in bringing Peterson to Tampa in 2017.
“I’ve seen Adrian Peterson many times — one of the best running backs to ever play,” Koetter said. “I’m anxious to talk to Jameis and ask him about how his workouts went.”
As the Buccaneers still remain silent about the Doug Martin saga, Koetter’s comments have to at the least raise eyebrows across the Tampa Bay area that the Buccaneers may be willing to move on from Doug Martin and use Peterson to bridge the gap of finding their next running back.
The Bucs could cut ties with Doug Martin moving forward, following his four-game suspension for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy without facing a penalty. No decision has been made yet, but if the Buccaneers do decide to release the sixth-year running back, Adrian Peterson could be signed to help secure the running back position for a team that is ready to win now.
Although Peterson has yet to find a team in free agency, don’t expect his inability to land a suitor in the early stages of free agency to drive down his asking price. Peterson had an $18 million team option with the Vikings this season that they failed to pick up, an easy decision for the Vikes based on Peterson’s age and the fact he is coming off of knee surgery.
Adrian Peterson did have a meeting with the Seattle Seahawks, who decided to go with free agent running back Eddie Lacy instead. The Seahawks decision to go with Lacy over Peterson led many to speculate that Peterson’s asking price was simply to high. Hard to believe Lacy provides a better product on the field than Peterson does, even at the later stages of his career.
This past week AP also met with the New England Patriots, a simple meeting that struck fear into the hearts of all the Patriots’ opponents. Peterson also left Boston empty handed, which isn’t overly surprising as the Patriots under coach Bill Belichick have never really broke the bank for a running back. Plus with LeGarrette Blount still floating around in free agency, the Patriots still have an option that has worked well for them in the past.
Peterson used Twitter to let anyone/team how he feels about his asking price being too high:
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) March 25, 2017
Two things stick out in this lengthy Tweet. First of all, Peterson will not accept a dime less than $8 million to play next season and secondly, there is no rush to find a suitor. This may actually play well into his favor, as following the draft, certain teams may be more desperate to fill holes in the backfield. Although parting ways with Martin will not cost the Buccaneers in term of dead-cap money following his suspension, Martin is scheduled to earn just under $6 million this upcoming season (prorated for the three games he will miss due to suspension). If the Buccaneers decide to rid themselves of Martin, Peterson will come at a heavier price tag than Martin.
The Buccaneers do have the cap room to make this move happen, especially if they were to cut Martin, but the question of how much he has left in the tank at 32 years old has to be raised. Although father time does have a way of sneaking up on people, Peterson seems to be in great shape and also looks to be moving well on his surgically repaired knee. Sometimes, the best response is made without words:
5 sets of 30 sec 22,23,24,*23,24 😴whew…. the high was 26 put up by Wr James Wright. Fast twitch & explosion drills..We working over here pic.twitter.com/cK9wQ3yW2z
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) March 25, 2017