The Minnesota Vikings declined their 2017 contract option on running back Adrian Peterson on Tuesday. There’s a chance the two sides come to an agreement on a new deal, but it’s likely Peterson will become an unrestricted free agent March 9.
The 31-year-old Peterson has had multiple knee surgeries and ran for just 72 yards on 37 carries across three games as a torn meniscus derailed his 2016 season. Peterson ran for 1,485 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry in 2015, so if his knees don’t betray him, he could have something left to give to the Vikings or a new team.
So what are some likely destinations for Peterson if he doesn’t come back for an 11th season with the Vikings? Glad you asked, because here they are:
Detroit Lions — Do the Lions even technically have a running back? Theo Riddick is a terrific pass catcher but he’s not an every-down back. Dwayne Washington averaged 2.9 yards per carry on 90 totes. Ameer Abdullah is explosive but after 143 carries as a rookie in 2015, he played just two games in 2016 due to a foot injury.
Even if Peterson isn’t capable of a 250-carry season at his age, working in tandem with the quicker Abdullah keep both fresh and effective for 16 weeks.