Adrian Peterson has been one of the NFL’s top running backs since he left the Oklahoma Sooners and broke into the league. Outside of the year that he tore his ACL, Peterson has been at or near the top of the NFL rushing list every season and even ran for over 2,000 yards the year after he returned from his ACL tear. However, in shocking news NewsOK reported on Monday that an Adrian Peterson trade might be in the works because the Minnesota Vikings might be trying to dump their best player.
This comes at about the time that some analysts felt that the Vikings might have originally planned to get rid of Peterson from the start. Despite his amazing stats, and his ability to remain in the peak of condition, he will turn 30 following the 2014 NFL season. Most running backs, no matter how great they were, start to decline at that point in their career.
LaDainian Tomlinson never ran for fewer than 1,000 yards in a season in his first eight years in the NFL. In 2009, Tomlinson turned 30 and finished the year with only 730 rushing yards. The next season, he found himself with the New York Jets. Following the 2011 season, Tomlinson retired after running for only 280 yards.
Peterson will play for the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, but Mike Freeman reported that might be his last year in Minnesota. Freeman said that he heard throughout the NFL Draft that the Vikings really wanted to get rid of Peterson soon. The bad thing about NFL contracts is that teams can backload them and then cut a player without having to worry about paying him the full contract. In 2014, Peterson makes $11.75 million.
However, in the last three years of his NFL contract, $44 million of the $100 million they signed Peterson to comes due. In 2017, the total amount owed is $15.75 million. The Vikings did this so they could dump their star running back and only pay a little over half of his contract. If Minnesota cuts Peterson after the 2014 season, they are only hit with a $2.4 million cap hit and aren’t hit at all after the 2015 season. Either an Adrian Peterson trade occurs or the Vikings will cut him soon.