Purple Pain: Should the Vikings Consider Trading Adrian Peterson?
Lord Adrian, Purple Jesus, Diesel, AP and All Day: These are the nicknames for the best running back in the NFL since 2007. These are also the nicknames of the running back that the Vikings should consider trading this offseason.
Adrian Peterson has been in the league for five years, and the Vikings' fans, staff and even Adrian himself can boast about how great his career has been so far. How can someone not be proud of 6,752 rushing yards on 4.8 yards per carry and 64 rushing touchdowns?
Adrian Peterson had only one problem, and that was holding on to the football. And that is fixed now.
Many of you must be asking why would we trade someone who has put up such monstrous numbers.
Here is why.
His Age and Workload
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Adrian Peterson is a running back who—unlike other running backs—hits his opposing players while running out of bounds and puts his head down and tries to hit people when he does not need to. Peterson has been doing this since he started running around with a pigskin; the contact is sure to take a toll on his body.
Running backs do not have a long life (in the NFL, that is). Just ask Shaun Alexander, who at age 34 has already been out of action for three years, Brian Westbrook (32), Clinton Portis (30) and Larry Johnson (32). They will tell you that life in the NFL is tough after 30.
Adrian Peterson is 27 years old.
The average lifespan of a running back in the NFL is about five to six years. Peterson has been in the NFL for five long and hard years already. Comparing his five years to another five years is not fair for the other person because Peterson puts miles on like a truck and a guy like Tom Brady puts miles on like a Prius.
Peterson's age and miles will catch up to him within the next two to three years.
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Peterson will be 27 by the time the 2012 season begins, and, based on his injury, it seems as if there is a slight chance he might not be able to play for the first week.
Knowing Peterson's toughness and desire to play, he will most likely suit up, but the injury to his ACL/MCL will not be easy to recover from. Keep in mind he is a running back—his legs are his meal ticket.
Eric Sugarman has said that Adrian Peterson has the DNA to recover quickly and come back in tip-top shape. Regardless, the injury will take a toll on his body as he ages.
If the miles don't catch up to Adrian, expect the injury to hinder his production within the next couple of years.
The Vikings' Needs
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The Vikings are in need of a huge overhaul and some much needed youth on the team.
The offensive line is aging, Jared Allen and Kevin Williams are not getting any younger and the wide receiving core has Percy Harvin and Michael Jenkins, the Falcons' would-be fifth WR option if he had stayed with the team.
Adrian Peterson has Herschel Walker value. Sorry Vikings fans. This one does sting but maybe the Vikings can finally get "revenge" for the worst trade in NFL history.
As I said in a recent article, the Vikings have pressing needs. They need all the help they can get to acquire those needs through a trade or free agency. Trading Adrian Peterson will definitely help the Vikings the most—even though it won't be enough to secure new talent at every position where the Vikings are in need.
What Would the Vikings Need to Receive in Order to Trade Him?
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Okay Sammy, you make great points. But what would the Vikings be able to get from another team if we trade Adrian Peterson?
Here is a scenario that I think would work in the Vikings favor. The Vikings could send Peterson to a team that has a decent first-round pick in the 2012 Draft and a star player to trade. The scenarios are endless.
Adrian Peterson to Dallas for Dez Bryant and the 14th pick in the draft.
Adrian Peterson to Cleveland for the fourth and 22nd pick in the draft.
With trades like these the Vikings would improve their team. The Vikings would automatically have a great receiving core again with Bryant or Fitzgerald. The Vikings could also add necessary depth with a trade to the Browns for two first-round picks.
The trade scenarios are endless. The ones listed above might not be possible because of the injury and the miles Peterson has—but every owner and GM are different.
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Is trading Adrian Peterson worth it? Giving away a running back who has carried the Vikings for the past five years for an unproven player in the draft and another decent star?
No and yes.
Trading Adrian Peterson would not be worth it for the Vikings. Toby Gerhart has proved that he can be a decent running back in the NFL—but nothing like Adrian Peterson. Peterson has speed, power and poise—and never gives up.
Trading the leader of the Vikings to another team would haunt them the same way trading for Herschel Walker did.
The Vikings would never get equal value for Peterson because these days teams think that good running backs come a dime a dozen, and it's tough to disagree. Most of these running backs burn out quickly but guys like Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew stick around and fight hard for their team for years.
Finding another Demarco Murray or Beanie Wells is easy, but finding another Adrian Peterson is tough.
The Vikings should consider trading him if a good enough offer does come, like the two first round picks from the Browns—but that seems highly unlikely.
Expect Adrian Peterson to retire a Minnesota Viking and try to shatter every record in the book in purple and gold.
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