TAMPA — The Bucs have a complicated situation at running back for 2017, with Doug Martin facing a PEDs 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, a potential salary cap cut for the Vikings, says the Bucs are one of three teams (along with Texans and Giants) he would be interested in playing for if the five-time All-Pro running back doesn't return to Minnesota.
"There are a couple of teams out there that I've thought about," said Peterson, who told ESPN on Thursday that 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 good spot. … I'll just stop there."
Peterson turns 32 in March and has missed 28 games over the past three seasons between a suspension and injuries. He rushed for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015, his last full season, edging Martin for the rushing title. He's entering the final year of a three-year, $42 million deal that will pay him $18 million in 2017, which might cause the Vikings to cut him loose.
Peterson said he believes he has five "strong" seasons left. But it's rare for a running back to perform at a high level at that age. In the past 10 years, only two backs 32 or older have totaled 1,000 yards in a season: Frank Gore 1,025 this past season at 33, and Ricky Williams 1,121 at 32 in 2009.
The Bucs no longer have guaranteed money owed to Martin, so they could cut him without salary cap consequences. They also must decide whether to re-sign Rodgers, their leading rusher this season.
JULIO SAYS HE'S OKAY: Julio Jones missed his second day of practice with a sprained left toe, but the Falcons' All-Pro receiver said he's confident he will be ready for Sunday's NFC title game. In other Falcons news, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan plans to talk again with the 49ers about their head coaching vacancy, with all signs pointing to him landing the job.
PACKERS WR HURTING: Davante Adams missed a second day of practice with an ankle injury, and the Packers receiver might not know until warmups before Sunday's NFC title game whether he can play. He hurt the ankle last week against Dallas. Receiver Jordy Nelson, who missed that game with broken ribs, practiced on a limited basis for a second straight day.
BELL MISSES PRACTICE: The Steelers' Le'Veon Bell was excused from practice for "personal reasons," coach Mike Tomlin said, adding that the running back will be ready for Sunday's AFC title game.
SEAHAWKS PICK AT RISK? The Seahawks might lose their second-round pick in this year's draft as a result of their failure to disclose a knee injury to cornerback Richard Sherman, ESPN reported. Coach Pete Carroll revealed Monday that Sherman was dealing with an MCL injury for the second half of the season. The team is contending, ESPN said, that because Sherman never missed a snap, the team should not be severely penalized by the league. Sherman was listed as "limited" or "did not participate" on several practice reports without any disclosure of an injury, as required by league policy.
COLTS: Quarterback Andrew Luck had surgery on the right shoulder. The team said he will be ready for next season.
RAMS: Wade Phillips, 69, is the new defensive coordinator, his 40th NFL season as a coach with the 10th franchise to employ him.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.