There’s been a lot of talk as to why Adrian Peterson remains a free agent. Now, nearly a month into the offseason, Peterson has taken only one visit. That came with the Seattle Seahawks before they ultimately decided on Eddie Lacy.
There’s a couple different opinions on this topic. Peterson just turned 32 years old earlier this month and has played in a grand total of 20 games over the past three seasons. In a free-agent market that has not been friendly to running backs, that surely has played a role.
Though, Peterson remaining unsigned could have more to do with his reported asking price on the free-agent market. Teams simply are not going to pay top-end money for a one-dimensional running back on the back end of his career. That’s not how it works in today’s NFL.
In speaking up about the Peterson situation, Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders had a rather interesting take.
“You have a choice to make,” Sanders said Thursday, via NFL.com. “Either you focus on winning and you put yourself in the line of a good team like Green Bay, which says ‘I made it without you. I really don’t need you. Now, you can help me get over the hump, but what is that hump worth? That hump is not worth … $11 million.”
That’s the crux of the issue right here. Peterson can’t have his cake and eat it too. If he wants to play for a contender, the running back must take a team-friendly contract. If the veteran is fine with wasting away on a bad team to conclude his career, we’re pretty sure the Cleveland Browns would offer him up a decent contract.
Sanders speaks from experience here. He took a smallish one-year deal to play with the San Francisco 49ers back in 1994. It was well below market value. But he wanted to win. In the end, Sanders hoisted the first of what would be multiple Lombardi trophies to conclude his first and only season in Northern California.
Peterson has a similar decision to make here. Whether he makes the right decision will likely play a major role in how the running back’s market plays out from here.