Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson posted a tweet Wednesday night which can only add to the speculation the New York Giants are a preferred destination if and when the Vikings release him.
The Giants been making some interesting moves.— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) February 16, 2017
Earlier this offseason, the four-time All-Pro had listed the Giants as one of three teams he would like to play for if his career in Minnesota is over.
Peterson carries an $18 million cap hit for 2017 that includes a $6 million bonus if he is on Minnesota’s roster on March 11. Expectations are that the Vikings don’t want to commit that kind of money to an aging star. Peterson is coming off a season in which he played only three games due to a knee injury, gained 72 yards rushing and averaged 1.9 yards per carry. Peterson could force Minnesota to release him by refusing to take a pay cut.
The “interesting” moves the Giants made, of course, are cutting ties with running back Rashad Jennings and wide receiver Victor Cruz to free up $10 million in salary cap space.
The Giants’ running game was among the worst in the league in 2016, and with the release of Jennings they do need a back to complement Paul Perkins. So, Peterson’s apparent interest is understandable. I have already made my position clear that the Giants should want nothing to do with him. Here is part of what I wrote a month ago:
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.
Peterson can flirt with the Giants all he wants. The Giants would be making a mistake to reciprocate.