Taylor McCloud — Pats Militia
It’s the offseason and rumors are flying. Jimmy Garoppolo is both staying in New England and getting traded. Dont’a Hightower is leaving the Patriots because he posted a Snapchat story with a plane emoji in it. Logan Ryan is asking for an astronomical amount of money and is allegedly on his way out. All of that is happening, or maybe not, or maybe so — I don’t know. In fact, no one knows. Because, like I said, everything is a rumor. And, until contracts have been signed and ink has dried, a rumor is exactly what everything will remain.
That being said, I’m a degenerate and I love diving headfirst into rumors. There’s nothing better than getting all worked up about something some anonymous source said. Even if it has less of a chance of being legitimate than the independence of Ted Wells’ investigation, it’s a given that I’ll be all over it.
And today, I’m all over this one.
— 1500 ESPN (@1500ESPN) March 6, 2017
Apparently Adrian Peterson will take less money to play for the Patriots. He was supposed to make $18M in Minnesota for the 2017 season, but like any smart franchise would, the Vikings said fuck that and let the thirty-one year old back walk. There’s still a chance he reconciles with the horned folk in the land of the lakes, but for the sake of this blog, let’s say he doesn’t. In fact, let’s say this report is true and AP actually wants to take less money in order to be a Patriot.
Fantastic! Welcome to Foxborough, right? Well, maybe. But hold your horses just a little bit.
Adrian Peterson is one of the most talented running backs to ever step on a football field. There are a lot of old people who will disagree with that, but in my eighteen years of life, I have seen few people dominate the way he has.
Though, my mind tells me his absolute best days are behind him. After being suspended for almost the entirety of 2014, Peterson came back in 2015 and played well. He rushed for 1485 YD and 11 TD while averaging 4.5 YPC. Unfortunately 2016 did not bring the same type of results. After a dismal three game stretch to begin the season, AP missed the last thirteen games with a torn meniscus. I don’t know about you, but I’m not terribly confident that an aging back coming off a season-ending knee injury will return to his MVP form.
That raises the question — should the Patriots give him a contract?
(Before I answer that, let me say this: I’m not going to talk about money here and for a couple of reasons. First, I’m no expert when it comes to the salary cap. I don’t want to write something that’s completely incorrect. Second, the Patriots will not overpay for anyone. If Peterson demands too much money, he will not play in New England.)
I know I said his best days are probably behind him and that’s probably not the best thing to say about a possible addition but AP isn’t like the rest. His best days were so crazy — so dominant — that I can’t say I’m not interested in seeing what a step (or two) below the best days looks like. If he could give the Patriots even three quarters of what’s he shown he’s capable of doing, I’d take it. His peak was that good. Plus, the season (2015) sandwiched between suspension and injury was pretty damn good. I know he’s two years older now and running backs do not last long into their thirties but, like I said earlier — AP isn’t normal. If there’s anyone who’d defy father time, at least for a little while, it’d be him.
And that’s why I think the Patriots should definitely look into giving him a contract. They’ve done things like this twice before with Corey Dillon and Randy Moss and were rewarded handsomely. I don’t think they should overpay for him (they won’t anyways), but if they can find some sort of middle ground, they should pull that trigger. They’d be stupid not to and with the reports that LeGarrette Blount could be on his way out, it could be somewhat of a necessity.
Got the sense #Patriots believe someone is going to make RB LeGarrette Blount an offer they won't match. I believe they're prepping for it.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 6, 2017
If the Blount news is true and another team does snatch him away from the Pats, it will suck, but the addition of Adrian Peterson would be the perfect band-aid. LG is a fan-favorite, but at the big-bodied physical running back position, AP would be a significant upgrade.
But I don’t want to get any hopes up. (Here’s where we stop believing the report.) Even though I’d love for the team to add AP and even though I don’t think this rumor is complete trash, it certainly could be. I began this blog by listing some stupid rumors that have been circulating through Patriot Nation and this could be another one of them. I know the Boston Herald originally reported on this, but words don’t mean a whole lot. They’re fun to look into and fantasize about, that’s undeniable, but until something more materializes, I’m gonna sit back and let things play out how they’re going to. I know that’s tough to do, especially with this team, but there’s no sense in customizing a jersey to read PETERSON across the back when there’s little to no actual evidence he wants to play here.