After his appearance on First Take this morning, the buzz around Buccaneers fans is that Adrian Peterson may be on his way to Tampa Bay.
Here we go again. Many may remember in early 2015 when rumors began swirling about the possibility of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trading for running back Adrian Peterson. Our own Gil Arcia had knowledge of talks between the teams and spoke about on his website The Bay Cave. Nothing ever materialized as the Vikings’ asking price was far too high.
Doug Martin went on to finish second in the NFL in rushing that season, behind Adrian Peterson. Fast forward to January 19, 2017 and the rumor mill is heating up once again. While on ESPN’s First Take, Peterson was asked about having thought about places to play should things in Minnesota not work out. Among three teams he named, one was the Buccaneers.
He said the most important things to him when looking for a team were the chances of winning a championship, a solid defense, a good offensive scheme, and a great coaching staff. Apparently, the Bucs check off those criteria for him. The coaching staff remained in place after Mike Smith committed to not pursuing any head coaching jobs for “the next few years”. Dirk Koetter loves a run heavy offense. The defense was the most improved in the league and was the best in the NFL at third down stops.
That’s certainly a good start.
The other two he named were the New York Giants and Houston Texans. The Texans just signed Lamar Miller last off-season, so they’re likely out of it. That leaves the Giants and Bucs, both of which are on the rise and in need of a running back.
Doug Martin appears to be done in Tampa, but we don’t know that for sure. There’s still a real possibility he returns. Would the Bucs really cut a 28 year old running back they just extended last year to sign a running back who tuns 32 in March and is coming off meniscus surgery? Usually, you would scream no way, but this is Adrian Peterson. The guy seems unbreakable. He returns from any injury seemingly stronger than before.
He’s a once in a generation player, so it’s difficult to throw the idea out the window.
It, of course, would come down to money. The Vikings will likely cut him loose considering he is due $18 million dollars this season. No team is going to give that to Peterson on the open market. Zero chance. So what will it cost? And would it be worth it?
The Buccaneers could approach the situation by drafting a running back in the third round or later that can see modest playing time and develop behind Peterson for a couple seasons, filling the need at running back for the present while preparing for the future. The kind of threat Peterson presents opens up a wide range of options for the offense and would likely make life on Jameis Winston far easier.
But how would fans react to the Bucs bringing in a 32 year old running back, even if it is Adrian Peterson?
There’s no question that Peterson returning as AD would send this team over the top offensively. He undoubtedly the best running back of this generation and will go down as one of, if not the greatest of all time. However, if he returns as a shell of his former self, it could set the Bucs back having missed an opportunity to go after a feature back in this draft, which is extremely deep at the position.
One thing is for sure: the off-season just got a WHOLE lot more interesting.
What do you think? Would the Buccaneers bringing in Adrian Peterson be a good or bad move? Let us know your take in the comments below.