We've all been job-hunting before, and that's basically the only thing any of us will ever have in common with Hall of Fame running back and now-former Viking Adrian Peterson. Minnesota decided against picking up AP's $18 million option for 2017, so for the first time in his career, Peterson gets to jump into free agency.
Normally, if you're the Patriots, a 31-year-old Adrian Peterson that turns 32 in a couple weeks is the kind of dude you kick the tires on and then let someone else overpay because they still remember how awesome Peterson was in 2012 when he took home the NFL MVP trophy. New England in the Kraft/Belichick era takes plenty of swings on older veteran players, but they almost always do it on the cheap, which - you'd think - would rule AP out.
You'd think that, except the Boston Herald dropped this little gem on Monday night:
"A couple of interesting players hit the free agent market last week in Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, 31, whose $18 million option was not exercised, and Jets receiver Brandon Marshall, 32, who was released. Both are veterans still seeking a ring."
"Naturally, that brings the Patriots into the conversation. Foxboro is a place of great championship opportunity.
Would Peterson even consider taking a Patriots-friendly contract for a go at a ring?"
Pretty standard gee-I-wonder stuff so far, but here's where it gets interesting:
"A source close to Peterson told the Herald that since AP has already earned a ton - more than $97 million in his career - it's certainly something he'd consider. Peterson knows how it worked out for Darrelle Revis and Chris Long. But naturally, there will be a lot of teams in the mix, including the Vikings. And, of course, the Pats would have to want to bring in an aging back with an injury history, not to mention baggage."
"Historically, the Patriots haven't paid running backs more than $2 million a year. If the Pats were truly interested, they might come off that number, but Peterson would have to be willing to leave a lot on the table considering likely offers elsewhere."
Well, well, well, you're saying there's a chance.
And then, if you put that together with today's report that the Patriots are expecting their resident big back and #1 Celtics fan LeGarrette Blount to leave town, that's where at least talking to AP kind of makes more sense.
The obvious reason why this probably won't happen is exactly what everyone thought the Patriots were going to do at running back last year right around now - stock up at the draft. This year's draft has a couple BAMF running backs that are pretty much first-round locks, but there's plenty of others that project to be good mid-round prospects, just like when New England double-dipped on running backs by taking Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley in 2011.
Still, though, between this report and the weekend's drama with the Patriots and Saints burner Brandin Cooks, at least free agency sure isn't boring!