If the Green Bay Packers are serious about staking claim as the best team in the NFL then taking a run at Adrian Peterson is a must. With news that the Minnesota Vikings will not pick up the option on Peterson’s contract, the former MVP is now free to sign elsewhere. While Peterson has dealt with injuries over the last few seasons it’s worth noting that he has come back stronger the following year.
A pairing of this magnitude is not like the Kansas City Chiefs and Marcus Allen where Allen was in the last stages of his brilliant career or Emmitt Smith taking handoffs for the Cardinals, Peterson is still at the top of his game. So why did the Vikings release him? Money. Peterson was set to bank $18M and the Vikings thought that was too much for an RB that will be 32 before the 2017 season starts.
However, there are teams that have waited for this moment and the Packers will be wise to put any petty rivalry differences to the side and pounce. Despite what many fans may think, the window for the Packers is closing. Aaron Rodgers has not found the Fountain of Youth and neither has the defense or his receivers. It seems that every season either Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb ends up on the IR which has forced Rodgers to depend on his bench players. But, if they can manage to swing a deal for Peterson, the landscape for the NFC race just changed completely.
Last season, the Packers tied their success to Eddie Lacy, James Starks and a slot receiver turned RB in Ty Montgomery. While Montgomery showed promise over the last few games of the season he fell silent in the playoffs with 25 carries for 91 yards in three games. If Rodgers is to see his numbers and wins increase he needs a proven back that can move the chains and a threat to go the distance with every handoff.
Adrian Peterson is that guy.
For his career, Peterson has averaged 5 yards per attempt with a total of 11,747 yards rushing on 2418 attempts with 97 touchdowns. The one thing that has eluded Peterson is the Super Bowl. He has tried to carry a team on his shoulders the majority of his career but he has never had that QB that could take some of the pressure off. And to be honest, Rodgers has not had that powerful runner that could lead him to his second trip to the big game and finally step away from the shadow of Brett Favre.
The Packers have the money to offer Peterson even if he does want his current salary but why should he? The Packers could talk him down and show him the standings and how close they were to facing the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. The Dallas Cowboys are still a threat with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott but a Rodgers and Peterson backfield will be the most explosive and experienced in the NFL for the 2017 season.
The Packers need this, Rodgers wants this and Peterson has to have dreamt about this pairing. Make it happen Green Bay