Lately, more and more rumors have surfaced regarding former league MVP Adrian Peterson and the Oakland Raiders. With Latavius Murray set to hit free agency, it makes sense that the Raiders should look at finding another tailback. Adrian Peterson is one of the best ever, why not him?
The Oakland Raiders and Adrian Peterson
While the Oakland Raiders have plenty of cap space, they don’t necessarily have a ton of money. Derek Carr and Khalil Mack are both expecting massive contracts, and if the Raiders want to remain competitive, they’ll have to be very smart about their money. This is one of the biggest reasons that Latavius Murray is leaving in the first place.
After a season that saw Murray score a total of 14 times, his value is at an all-time high. Someone out there, be it the Philadelphia Eagles or the Green Bay Packers or someone else, will pay Murray big money to come play for them. This is also a big roadblock for any relationship between the Oakland Raiders and Adrian Peterson.
If the Raiders can’t afford to keep Latavius Murray, how can they possibly afford to get Adrian Peterson? It’s true that he’s missed most of the last three seasons, but as the best running back to hit free agency, he can pretty much name his price, and somebody will pay it.
But he deserves it, right? Adrian Peterson has had a hall of fame career, so he deserves extra money. The Oakland Raiders don’t want to pay Latavius Murray, but he also might not deserve the money he’s asking for. Peterson might give the offense another layer!
Time Waits For No Man
Adrian Peterson will be 32 years old when next season starts. In NFL history, only four backs that were 32 or older have rushed for 1,000 yards. Now it’s true that Frank Gore did it last year, and that Peterson is a beast, but he hasn’t been lately.
The miraculous 2,000 yard season was almost five years ago now, and he hasn’t been the same back. He had a decent season in 2013, getting 1,200 yards and ten touchdowns, but then he missed most of the 2014 season for iffy reasons.
In 2015, Adrian Peterson had another great season, and it seemed like he was back to normal. He almost rushed for 1,500 yards and he did rush for 11 touchdowns. Peterson’s season started slow before tearing his lateral meniscus.
Peterson came back late in the season, but he was almost completely ineffective. Time waits for no man, and there’s no promise that Adrian Peterson is the same back that he was two years ago, let alone five years ago.
The Right Price.
If this were Madden, and Reggie McKenzie could turn off the salary cap, this would be a great move. Honestly, if Peterson is still himself, then the Oakland Raiders add an incredible dimension to their offense. If not, then he’s just a power back they can sort in with the shiftier Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.
Unfortunately, cap space can’t be turned off. Adrian Peterson isn’t going to sign a cheap contract, especially with teams like the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers rumored to be willing to pay him featured back money.
If the Oakland Raiders want to get a rotational power-back, there are other, cheaper, options. As great as it would be to have Adrian Peterson, it seems unlikely that he’d take a pay cut great enough to fit into McKenzie’s plans.