It is early in the NFL’s offseason, but running back Adrian Peterson is still in search of a new home after the Minnesota Vikings declined to pick up his option in February and signed Latavius Murray as his replacement.
There have been a number of suitors linked to the 2012 MVP, but two of the favorites look to be out.
The Seattle Seahawks signed Eddie Lacy to take over the backfield and the Oakland Raiders are attempting to coax Marshawn Lynch out of retirement.
Having played just 22 games in the past three years, an aging rusher with bad knees does not look worth the heavy payday he is expected to yield.
He played in just three games last year due to a torn meniscus, which made his reported demands seem ludicrous after Jeremy Fowler of ESPN claimed that he was looking for $8 million per year in his new deal.
Peterson has since denied those reports.
It doesn’t mean his options have dried up, though. Here is the latest on which teams have had rumored interest the 32-year-old:
1) New York Giants
Even before his departure from Minnesota, Peterson was keeping an eye on the Giants.
In January during an appearance on ESPN, he mentioned New York as a possible landing spot if he were to become a free agent.
Shortly after the team released running back Rashad Jennings in February, leaving them with Shane Vereen and Paul Perkins, Peterson tweeted, “The Giants been making some interesting moves.”
The Giants’ ground game has been a shell of the hard-nosed unit it once was. In each of the past four seasons, which included featured backs like Jennings, Andre Brown and Andre Williams, New York’s rushing offense was ranked in the bottom half of the NFL.
In 2016, the team ranked 29th in total yards gained on the ground and provided little support for quarterback Eli Manning and the passing game.
Gary Myers of the New York Daily News is convinced that the Giants will stay away from the free-agent back because of the way the organization handled Josh Brown’s domestic violence case.
Peterson also has a history of domestic violence that led to his suspension for most of the 2014 season.
2) Detroit Lions
Detroit has not had a consistent, legitimate threat in the backfield since the days of Barry Sanders.
The last time a Lions rusher even recorded 100 or more yards in a game was in Week 13 of the 2013 season when Reggie Bush gained 117 yards against the Green Bay Packers.
Since quarterback Matt Stafford was drafted in 2009, the Lions have had only nine games in which a back put up 100-plus yards in a single game.
In 2016, the team ranked 30th in rushing as Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah’s seasons were cut short by injury. The year before, they were dead last.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn told Kyle Meinke of MLive.com on Monday that, “I think AP still has plenty left in the tank… We’ll see how it goes.”
He seemed non-committal after that, ensuring that his team has “kicked the tires…on hundreds of players.”
3) Denver Broncos
The Broncos are a new name when it comes to the Peterson sweepstakes, but head coach Vance Joseph’s comments on Tuesday implied that eyes in Denver might be on him.
When asked why he wasn’t looking at Peterson in free agency, Joseph did not immediately agree with the reporter’s sentiments.
“Maybe we have, you don’t know,” Joseph said via Zac Stevens of BSNDenver.com. “Everyone available is going to be explored and researched.”
The Broncos got little production out of C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker, forcing them to take a chance on former Baltimore Raven Justin Forsett.
He did little to help as Denver ranked 27th in the league in rushing.
The Broncos are expected to draft a rusher in April, which makes the prospect of signing Peterson unlikely. However, Joseph’s inability to completely deny any interest in Peterson has left the door slightly open for speculation.