Adrian Peterson is reportedly asking for $8 million in the first year of any contract he signs with a new team. While it’s lovely that he’s so confident in himself, Peterson is absolutely delusional if he thinks he’s worth that much.
He’s a 32-year-old running back who missed the bulk of the 2016 season thanks to a torn meniscus in his right knee that required surgery. He played in just three games last season and also had an LCL sprain. So he’s old, with 2,418 carries under his belt, coming off a season-ending knee surgery and he wants to get paid like a top NFL running back. Yeah, that’s not going to happen, especially with the way tailbacks have been devalued in modern football.
Remember, Peterson also missed all but one game in 2014 thanks to a suspension following an indictment on child abuse charges. He came back in 2015 and earned First-Team All-Pro honors while leading the league in rushing, but there can’t be much gas left in his tank. Even the Minnesota Vikings, who used Peterson as the face of their franchise for 10 years, have opted to take the public relations hit and pass on paying him.
I’m not saying Peterson won’t be able to return in 2017 and be a No. 1 running back for someone. But after an up and down last three years he can’t expect to get paid huge money, especially coming off knee surgery.
For comparison, Eddie Lacy (who is six years younger than Peterson), just signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks that’s worth a maximum of $5.5 million. That contract also relies heavily on incentives to get up to that total as well. Peterson will likely have to settle for a deal in that range if he truly wants to play in 2017.
Peterson is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, but his best days are clearly behind him. Once he realizes that and brings his asking price down, he’ll likely find plenty of suitors. As of now, he’s just being crazy with his demands.