NFL Trade Rumors: Could Minnesota Vikings Trade Adrian Peterson to Indianapolis Colts?
It appears as if Adrian Peterson's time with the Minnesota Vikings is coming to an end.
Peterson has been one of the best running backs in the National Football League since being drafted by the Vikings No. 7 overall in 2007. Peterson has accumulated 10,190 rushing yards and 86 rushing touchdowns, but he barely played last season because of controversies off the field. After being charged with child abuse in September, Peterson only played one game all of last season.
To make matters worse between Peterson and the Vikings, Peterson's agent (Ben Dogra) had to be separated from Vikings vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski in a confrontation. According to that same report, Peterson will "never again play" for the Vikings.
With that being said, Minnesota has to consider their options and take advantage of this situation.
One option is to simply release Peterson. That may be the last resort option. Releasing Peterson could be extremely detrimental for a number of reasons. One, the Vikings wouldn't get any value in return. Two, Peterson would be free to go anywhere he wants, most likely an NFC team, such as the Dallas Cowboys, his favorite team as kid. Three, releasing Peterson would still result in a big cap hit for the Vikings.
The Vikings should do everything in their power to trade the star running back, specifically to an AFC team.
The Vikings should know about trading for a superstar and getting loads of value back more than anyone. Back in 1989, Minnesota traded for Herschel Walker from the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for eight draft picks and five players. Considering that trade yielded future NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and several stars that laid the foundation for Dallas' dynasty in the 1990s, that's a trade that still haunts the Vikings to this day. Here is the Vikings' chance to reverse that and finally come out winners in a big blockbuster trade.
Insert the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts would be the perfect buyers for the Vikings in a potential Peterson trade for numerous reasons. The most obvious is money. The Colts have the fifth-highest salary cap space in the NFL, which is by far the most among playoff caliber teams. Remember, this is the same team that gave up a first round draft pick for Trent Richardson. Of course, Peterson will cost a lot more, but you get what you pay for. Peterson is still owed about $47 million over the next three seasons.
The other glaringly obvious reason is team needs. Indianapolis desperately needs a running back, and Ahmad Bradshaw is set to leave in free agency. Quarterback Andrew Luck can't continue to throw the ball 50 times a game and expect to win with this formula. The Colts ranked 22nd in rushing offense last season, and they were one game away from a Super Bowl appearance. Imagine if they had Peterson alongside Luck on offense?
While many Colts fans want to focus on improving the defense, which is understandable, it is important to note that the Colts defensive unit ranked an underrated 11th overall last year. Bringing in Peterson would keep the Colts' defense off the field with a higher time of possession.
As good as Peterson has been with the Vikings, the reality is it was probably time to part ways regardless of off-field incidents. Even with Peterson, the Vikings have only managed to win one playoff game, which came in 2011 when Brett Favre was the starting quarterback. Is that Peterson's fault? Of course not. He's done his job on the field -- and beyond. But again, the Vikings would be better off trading Peterson and getting value in return for his services.
If the Vikings and Peterson can't come to a resolution, which looks like a high possibility, they will have to part ways. The Vikings are in the driver's seat here because Peterson is still under contract. He can hold out, but that would only hurt his own career and legacy. Most teams won't be willing to give up a first round pick for Peterson because of the enormous price tag, but the Colts are the perfect fit.
If Minnesota gives in to Peterson and release him, it could be a huge mistake. Peterson may sign with an NFC team for far less money. The Colts have a lot of salary cap space, a first-round draft pick and a big need for a running back.