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Oddsmakers: Will Vikings RB Adrian Peterson sign with the Patriots for 2017?

Will the best running back of the past decade sign with the reigning Super Bowl champions?

Oddsmaker has released odds for which team current Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will play for at the start of the 2017 season and the New England Patriots are considered one of the top favorites.

Odds for Adrian Peterson’s team in Week 1 of the 2017-18 regular season

Minnesota Vikings +250
Green Bay Packers +260
New England Patriots +1000
Oakland Raiders +1000
New York Giants +1500
Dallas Cowboys +2500
Field +140

The Vikings are the favorite with the Packers a laughable second place. Green Bay infamously doesn’t sign free agents (they average one free agent signing a year) and they would rather retain Eddie Lacy than bring in an external player.

But you should note that the Patriots are tied with the Oakland Raiders for third place. The Patriots and Raiders have free agent running backs in LeGarrette Blount and Latavius Murray, respectively, and could theoretically be interested in acquiring Peterson.

Blount has 1,864 rushing yards over the past two seasons, while Murray has 1,854 rushing yards. Murray is a bigger threat as a receiver with 74 receptions and 496 receiving yards over the past two years; Blount has 13 receptions for 81 yards. Blount is a bigger touchdown threat with better ball security with 25 scores and just 3 fumbles, while Murray has 18 touchdowns and 6 fumbles.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has expressed a desire to focus his free agency attention on younger players with upside, which should take them out of the running. The Patriots have often been a home for ring-less veterans, but it’s usually players with a year or two left in the tank.

Peterson, who turns 32 years old in March, has played in just 20 games over the past three seasons due to a suspension for child abuse in 2014 and a knee injury in week 2 of the 2016 season. Peterson was a First Team All Pro in 2015 with 327 carries, 1,485 rushing yards, and 11 rushing touchdown, all league-leading marks. He chipped in 222 receiving yards and finished third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage, behind Falcons WR Julio Jones (1,871) and Steelers WR Antonio Brown (1,862).

In Peterson’s first two games of 2016, prior to his injury, he carried the ball 31 times for 50 yards (1.61 yards per carry). The opposing Titans and Packers defenses stacked the box to force newly acquired QB Sam Bradford to throw the ball, but there are legitimate questions on whether Peterson will be able to return to his former self.

Honestly, the Patriots are probably a bigger threat to sign the 6’3, 230 pound Latavius Murray than they are to sign Peterson. Peterson said he would want to play for the Texans, Buccaneers, or Giants and would probably command a bigger contract than what the Patriots would be willing to pay.