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Adrian Peterson wants Giants, but Giants should not want him

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Vikings back lists New York as one of three preferred teams if he is released by Minnesota

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Adrian Peterson as a member of the New York Giants? The Minnesota Vikings running back reportedly said Thursday that the Giants would be one of three teams he would be interested in playing for if his illustrious career in Minnesota is over.

Should the Giants be interested in Peterson?

My vote is an unequivocal no. No way. No how. No chance Peterson to the Giants would be a good idea.

First and foremost, this is not ADRIAN PETERSON. This is not the guy who gained 2,097 yards and averaged 6.0 yards per carry back in 2012. This is a guy who will be 32 next season and is coming off a season in which his latest knee injury limited him to three games during which he totaled 37 carries for a meager 72 yards, just 1.9 yards per carry.

Peterson has an $11.75 million base salary for 2017 and carries a cap figure of $18 million. A report out of Minnesota calls it “highly unlikely” the Vikings will pay him that. Peterson also has a $6 million roster bonus due March 11. Peterson could force his release by refusing to take a pay cut.

If he does that the Giants should stay away. Sure, they were 29th in the league in rushing at 88.2 yards per game and 30th in yards per carry at 3.5 in 2016. Sure, the Giants could use an upgrade over Rashad Jennings to team with Paul Perkins. But not Peterson.

Why?

First, because of age and injury. Peterson, as great as he was, will be 32 in March. He had a torn meniscus last season, torn ACL in 2011 and torn LCL in 2007. Peterson did gain 1,495 yards rushing for Minnesota in 2015. If you look carefully, though, you see the signs of slippage in his play beginning halfway through that season. In the first nine games of 2015, Peterson gained more than 100 yards five times, with a high 203. In the last seven games, he crossed the 100-yard barrier just twice. In the last five games he averaged four yards per carry only once.

He is a fading player who will likely want a hefty short-term deal. Multiple reports indicate that Peterson is also a guy who would prefer to skip the offseason program and training camp, meaning he would likely want to sign late.

There is also Peterson’s past history with child abuse. Remember that he missed all but one game of the 2014 season after being indicted on child abuse charges for using a wooden “switch” on his then 4-year-old son. Peterson accepted a plea deal to a lesser charge. The NFL placed Peterson on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.

After the Josh Brown domestic violence situation during the 2016 season, and all of the criticism the Giants took for their seemingly tone-deaf handling of that matter, getting involved with Peterson would seem ill-advised.

Yes, the Giants’ running game could use help. Not, though, from Peterson.