The Minnesota Vikings may look at an Adrian Peterson trade this offseason with the NFL draft approaching and teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals could be potential landing spots if the running back is traded.
Peterson's future has been up in the air since last season, but now that he is reinstated to the league, the Vikings are looking to get their plans set regarding the star running back. The team has been open and public about wanting Peterson to return, but the running back may not want to be in Minnesota. According to Pro Football Talk, The Vikings are likely keeping Peterson unless they get an offer that "blows them away", meaning draft picks or a significant player.
A report from the Pioneer Press has six teams as potential options for Peterson, including the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The report spoke with a source that said those teams could be in the mix and that "a trade could get done before or during the draft." The report also added that if a trade doesn't happen by the draft or during the draft, it likely will not be happening.
Peterson is 30 years old and that makes him hard to trade as a running back and that is not even taking his contract into consideration. The Vikings have leverage, as the contract is for $40 million over the next three years and there aren't many teams looking to take that on. Pro Football Talk wrote earlier in the offseason that the Dallas Cowboys and Cardinals were the top options, with the Buccaneers as a wild card.
Peterson has a $15 million cap hit for this season and his salary is near $13 million at its base. Those numbers may not be easy to fit on the cap for some teams, even for the Cowboys, who just freed up money with a structure of Tony Romo's contract. The Buccaneers and Jaguars are potential options to make a big move, but they may not want to give up the draft picks required to get a deal done with the Vikings.
Peterson's agent said earlier in the offseason that it may not be in the "best interests" of his client to remain in Minnesota. The team has said they are not releasing Peterson and that makes a trade his only option out. The Vikings clearly do not want to move on from Peterson and while there is a chance he could hold out for a deal, his contract pays a nice amount of money and he likely will not get that anywhere else.
For a 30 year old running back, Peterson still has some gas in the tank and playing in just one game last season could end up helping him in the long run. Peterson rushed for 2000 yards after tearing his ACL and followed that up with another 1200 yard season. Peterson has scored 22 touchdowns in his last two "real" seasons and now he gets the chance to bounce back in 2015, whether it be with the Vikings or another team.