Running back Adrian Peterson’s free-agent visit with the New England Patriots home stadium in Foxboro reportedly included an on-field workout, marking his second visit of the offseason. Citing a league source, The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported on Wednesday that the New England Patriots put the former Minnesota Vikings veteran running back through a tryout when the franchise hosted him on Monday at Gillette Stadium.
The seven-time Pro Bowler Adrian Peterson left the New England Patriots upset without a contract deal, multiple sources told ESPN’s Field Yates. Peterson would give the Patriots the power back they currently lack, but the 32-year-old former NFL MVP is far from a sure thing. He missed nearly the entire 2016 season with a torn meniscus, averaging just 1.9 yards per rush on 37 carries in three appearances. Adrian Peterson hasn’t played in a Super Bowl, and the New England Patriots have won five under head coach Bill Belichick.
The 32-year-old Adrian Peterson, who was selected Minnesota Vikings with the seventh overall in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma, was a productive running back as recently as a couple of seasons ago, however, rushing for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns dating back in 2015. A torn meniscus in Peterson’s right knee limited him to just three games and 72 yards in 2016 NFL season and, as one NFC personnel director said, “He’s at the point where’s he’s going to have to be part of a running back by committee.”
Any professional American football franchise that inks Adrian Peterson to a contract also must be willing to overlook his off-the-field transgressions. Peterson pled guilty to three years ago to child abuse charges — and was suspended for the final 15 regular games of the 2014 NFL season as a result — which could persuades against New England Patriots from bringing him onto the team. The New England Patriots currently have four running backs under contract for the 2017 NFL season: James White, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead and D.J. Foster. Burkhead, by far, has the most lucrative contract deal on the group of Patriots running backs, signing a one-year contract, $3.15 million deal last month. LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden, both of whom were on the New England Patriots’ 2016 roster, remain unsigned.
It can be hard for veteran rusher to become a role players. AP completed a total of 11,747 career yards while logging 2,418 carries over the 10 seasons. Add in the fact that Adrian Peterson has never been a major contributor in the passing game, and clubs understand they aren’t getting a total package here. The New England Patriots seemed like a possible landing spot just because Bill Belichick has been willing to sign aging stars in the past. Now that Peterson has met with a couple of teams without securing a contract deal — Seattle Seahawks was the other — you have to wonder what his next move will be.