The Oakland Raiders are trying to put the disappointment of the 2016-17 behind them by stacking the deck, well sort of. Thursday afternoon the Raiders came to terms on a 2-yr/$12M deal with TE Jared Cook. His signing gives the Raiders a weapon they were lacking in the passing game last season and a possible extra blocker for Adrian Peterson.
However, the Peterson and Raiders deal is not done as AP has yet to make his mind up. Former Raiders RB, Latavius Murray has taken AP’s spot with the Minnesota Vikings and with the Seattle Seahawks taking a flyer on former Green Bay Packers RB, Eddie Lacy it seems the logical marriage is Peterson and Oakland.
So, what’s the hold-up?
If Peterson were to join the Raiders he will instantly make them the favorites to knock off the New England Patriots. The Raiders were picked to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LI until Derek Carr went down with an injury along with their title hopes. But, with Carr coming back healthy and an offense that features the WR duo of Michael Crabtree (89/1003) and Amari Cooper (83/1153), and now the addition of Cook (30/377) the Raiders offense will be hard to stop.
Murray was a great cog in the system but there is no one better than Peterson. He alone will force defenses to rethink their game plan as he will join what will be his best offensive team. Coming in with a chip on his should, there’s no telling the type of damage he could do.
The Raiders ranked 6th in total offense with 373 yards per game. As strong as the offense was it was held up mainly by the passing attack. Murray provided solid runs but with the line that Oakland has everyone expected more. Now, you throw Peterson in the fold and those 1st & 10’s now become 2nd & 4’s easily. Play-actions are where the Raiders could do their most damage. Peterson will make all defenses respect the run with an extra defender but that’s what the Raiders are banking on to happen.
As great of a year that Carr, Cooper, and Crabtree had, 2017 will could be even better with the pass catching and blocking ability of Cook. If Peterson makes his mind up that the Raiders gives him the best shot at a title then he must sign that contract and show the Vikings the mistake they made by turning their backs on him.
Peterson will be 32 by the time the season starts but he’s still AP.