Former MVP running back and ex-Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson joined ESPN’s NFL Live to discuss his future in the NFL and possible suitors for the upcoming season. Unsurprisingly, the Green Bay Packers were among the teams he listed.
Five years ago, Adrian Peterson joining Aaron Rodgers and a stable horse of receivers would have made for an unstoppable offense. Adding who used to be the best running back in the league to an offense headed by Rodgers would certainly have added to the success the Green Bay Packers saw over the last decade. Maybe a couple more rings too.
However, Peterson was a Minnesota Viking from 2007 to 2016 where he enjoyed gashing a Green Bay defense orchestrated by Dom Capers. Now, far past his prime and in need of a job, Peterson is trying to re-ingratiate himself back into NFL circles as he tries to find a team that can help get him a Lombardi trophy to cement his legacy. And as fun as it sounds, it won’t be as a Packer.
While Peterson has dealt with injuries and clashed with NFL coaching staffs, the Packers have reshaped their backfield while giving the front office a major facelift.
The hangover from Eddie Lacy‘s food coma pushed former general manager Ted Thompson into drafting three running backs in last year’s draft. Two of those picks. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, look like they will have legitimate careers in the NFL.
With Jones and Williams able to split carries and Ty Montgomery‘s ability to pass-catch out of the backfield, it’s hard to see where Peterson fits into the equation. He turned 33 in March and is two years removed from a 1,000-yard season.
It’s unlikely Peterson wants to stick it to his former team by joining a division rival, so his longing for a Super Bowl ring becomes more obvious by his remarks.
“I’ve mentioned Houston a few times. I feel like Green Bay wouldn’t be a bad look as well. Carolina. There’s some options out there,” Peterson said.
Head coach Mike McCarthy has always favored a dual-back system and the idea of not being the featured back hasn’t sat well with Peterson in the past. The next team he joins will be his fourth in the last two years.
Before New Orleans Saints’ running back Alvin Kamara emerged into the 2017 offensive rookie of the year, he played second fiddle to the All-Pro. Peterson started in his first game as a Saint but was limited to 18 yards on six carries. Before long, his relationship with coaches went south and he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for next to nothing. His career as a Saint ended with 81 yards on 27 carries.
Peterson went on to play in six games for the Cardinals before ending his season on the Injured Reserve. With Arizona’s regular starter David Johnson expected to be back healthy in 2018, Peterson was released on March 13th.
It appears he has grown up in the short amount of time he’s been on the market. During the interview with ESPN, he pointed out how the role of NFL running backs has changed since he entered the league.
“You see around the league that they have a two-back system,” Peterson said. “Guys aren’t really pounding the ball 20 to 30 times a game. So I think that leaves the door open for a couple opportunities for me.”
Green Bay has yet to be linked to Peterson and his next deal probably won’t happen until closer to training camp. Prepare yourself not to see the Packers’ name on that headline. They are deep at his position with a young group of dynamic talent ready to take the league by storm.