Adrian Peterson is slated to earn $11.75 million in base salary in 2017, and, if he’s still on the Vikings’ roster on March 11, he’ll receive a $6 million bonus. That’s a lot of money for a soon-to-be 32-year-old running back.
Peterson likely knows it, too. He recently said he’d eye the Bucs, Texans and Giants if Minnesota cuts him.
“I didn’t see the whole interview, and his initial response is that he’d love to finish his career in Minnesota,” Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “For us as teammates, that’s what we hope for as well. Anytime you have a sure-fire Hall of Famer – not only on your team, but for us on our offense – you’d love to see him back.”
Peterson, perhaps the best running back in the NFL over the last decade, was limited to just three games in 2016. He suffered a torn meniscus in a Week 2 win over Green Bay but somehow worked his way back for a Week 15 loss against the Colts.
“You learn never to count Adrian out,” Rudolph said. “The longer you’re around him, he’s a guy where, although all else may seem to be going against him, (he can overcome it). I think in his interview he said he could play seven more years, and everyone looks at him like he’s crazy because he’s already over 30. So you just kind of learn never to count him out or never to bet against him. You usually kind of take whatever Adrian says with a slight grain of salt, but in the back of your mind, you’re always like, ‘Yeah, he’s probably right. He’s probably going to go do that.’”
While the Vikings lost eight of 11 following a 5-0 start, their NFC North rival, the Green Bay Packers, won six straight following a 4-6 start. Minnesota beat Green Bay at home 17-14 in Week 2 but lost 38-25 at Lambeau in Week 16.
What changed for the Packers?
“Well when you have arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the country, in the league, in the world, (and) he gets hot like he did through that streak, (anything is possible),” Rudolph said. “He said it all last week that, yeah, he kind of went on a limb saying that they’re going to run the table, but he believed it and just needed to get everyone else to believe it. You’ve got a shot. That’s one position in this league if you’ve got somebody at the quarterback position playing at a high level, everybody else, they’re just kind of pawns in the game. They kind of just fall in place.”
Rudolph was asked which quarterback he would want if he needed to win one game: Rodgers, Tom Brady or Matt Ryan.
“I think you have to go with Tom Brady, (with) what he’s done throughout his career,” Rudolph said. “Now you’re looking at a guy in Matt Ryan who’s putting up numbers like Tom Brady did in his arguably best season ever in 2007. So if you have to pick one of those three, obviously you go with Tom just because of his career, but you’re in pretty good hands regardless.”