Despite signing unrestricted free agent running back Rex Burkhead to a one-year, $3.15 million contract, the top of the New England Patriots' running back depth chart appears to still not be set. The team's leading rusher of last season – LeGarrette Blount – is a possible addition still to be made, as are two restricted free agents.
And the 2012 NFL MVP is as well. Last week, former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson visited Foxboro but left the Patriots' premises without a contract. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, though, the 32-year old left a positive impression on the team's staff:
Adrian Peterson impressed #Patriots, appearing fast, explosive in workout. Possible #Saints seek to sign him before draft if money right.
Last season, Peterson was limited to three games due to a meniscus injury. The Patriots being impressed, therefore, might be in relation to a) how well his rehabilitation process has been going or b) how he exceeded the team’s expectations in regards to his moving abilities.
Judging by the quote above, though, it appears as if Werder’s source is not within the Patriots organization but rather a member of Peterson’s camp trying to push his value. After all, just a few hours after the report, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport – contrary to Werder’s report – tweeted that Peterson is not expected to sign prior to the draft.
That does not mean that New England might not have been impressed by the workout or that the veteran is not on the team’s radar. After all, the running back position has been given much attention over the last few weeks as recent visits by Peterson and restricted free agents Mike Gillislee and Damien Wiliams show.
Still, considering Peterson coming off a season in which he had career-lows in yards (72) and yards per carry (1.9), as well as the talent in the upcoming draft class, seeing the veteran remain unsigned until after the draft would hardly be a surprise. In general, free agency has been a slow experience for Peterson, who also visited the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints.