Adrian Peterson says if not back with Vikings, he'd like Bucs
The Bucs have a complicated situation at running back for 2017, with Doug Martin facing a suspension, Jacquizz Rodgers an unrestricted free agent and Charles Sims coming off his second major injury absence in three seasons.
Now there's this: Adrian Peterson, potentially a salary-cap cut with the Vikings, said Thursday on ESPN that the Bucs are one of three teams he'd be interested in playing for (with the Texans and Giants) if he weren't back with Minnesota this fall.
"There are a couple of teams out there that I've thought about," said Peterson, who said his main priority is finding a team where he can win a championship. "New York is one of them that popped up, Tampa Bay. Houston would be a goo spot ... I'll just stop there."
Peterson turns 32 in March and has missed a combined 28 games in the the last three seasons between suspension and injuries. He rushed for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015, his last full season, edging Martin for the NFL rushing title. He's entering the final year of a three-year, $42-million contract that will pay him $18-million in 2017, which might the Vikings cut him loose.
Peterson told ESPN he believes he has five "strong" seasons left in him, but it's rare for a running back to perform at a high level at his age. In the last 10 years, only two running backs age 32 or older have totaled 1,000 yards in any season -- Frank Gore had 1,025 this past year at 33, and Ricky Williams had 1,121 at age 32 in 2009.
The Bucs no longer have any guaranteed money owed to Martin, so they could cut him without any salary-cap consequences, and they also must decide whether to re-sign Rodgers, who stepped in as their leading rusher this past season.