With the news breaking that the Vikings will not be picking up the 2017 team option on Adrian Peterson, the AP sweepstakes have officially been opened. The 31-year-old former rushing champion is coming off yet another knee surgery and with it being far from a guarantee that the oft-injured AP will ever be able to get back to a competitive level, the winner of this lottery could be the team that stands to lose the least by signing the high-risk, high-reward running back.
Online sportsbook Bovada has set lines on which team the Vikings legend will land on for the upcoming NFL season and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have Doug Martin signed to a long-term deal, have emerged as the +300 favorite. The Bucs are basically set at tailback with the dynamic Charles Sims slotted in behind Martin in the backfield depth chart but with the two rushers missing a combined 30 games the past three seasons, signing Peterson as an insurance policy could be a smart move.
At +500, the Vikings have a decent shot to re-sign the three-time rushing champion but the fact that they were not willing to pony up $18 million to keep AP on another year suggests they’ll be out of the race if the asking price gets too high. Minnesota’s godawful offensive line is the first priority for the front office so throwing funny money at a position that’s begun to be dominated by committees would seem to be a counterproductive practice for the Purple People Eaters.
Some of the most likely candidates to make a run at signing the NFL’s newest free agent are the Giants (+500), Chiefs (+500), Panthers (+700) and Patriots (+800).
A move to Foxborough would make a lot of sense for AP. The Patriots, who seem to gamble more often than any other team, have never been ones to shy away from risky figures and in a few cases, they’ve hit the lottery. Back in 2007, the Pats signed Randy Moss after three below-average seasons and the future Hall of Famer had an incredible resurgence in his three seasons under Bill Belichick, posting three consecutive 1000-yard seasons and 47 total receiving touchdowns. If the price is right for Peterson, he could very easily be suiting up in the colors of the defending NFL champions in 2017.
Other teams with odds up at Bovada are the Packers (+1000), Redskins (+1000), Raiders (+1200), Seahawks (+1400) and Eagles (+2000). Of those options, I see Oakland being the best fit for Peterson. The offensive line in the Bay Area is one of the best in the NFL and with plenty of depth at the running back position, there’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain for the rising Raiders.
Which Roster will Adrian Peterson be on for Game 1 of the 2017 Regular Season?
Odds as of February 28 at Bovada
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +300
- Minnesota Vikings +500
- New York Giants +500
- Kansas City Chiefs +500
- Carolina Panthers +700
- New England Patriots +800
- Green Bay Packers +1000
- Washington Redskins +1000
- Oakland Raiders +1200
- Seattle Seahawks +1400
- Philadelphia Eagles +2000