2012 NFL Offseason: Adrian Peterson to Change His Number This Offseason?

Sammy SucuSenior Analyst IJanuary 24, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings avoids a tackle by Cody Grimm #35 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second quarter on September 18, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Peterson scored on the play. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Adrian Peterson suffered a torn ACL and MCL to his knee and has just recently started his rehabilitation process. This means that Peterson will have a lot of time this offseason to rehab and make sure that he comes back stronger than ever. Peterson will be out of commission for most of the offseason—leaving him plenty of time to think about his return. 

Yesterday, Peterson sent out a tweet to his followers telling them that he is considering changing his number. In a later tweet, Peterson said that he is considering numbers 21 and 23. The number 21 belongs to underachieving cornerback Asher Allen, while the number 23 belongs to "No Knees" Cedric Griffin—it would not be a problem for Peterson to switch to either number. 

Peterson has been wearing the number 28 during his whole professional career and a number change may be a good thing for Peterson for the following reasons. 

1. The NFL's jerseys are changing because of the contract with Nike. 

2. The Vikings are in rebuilding mode and are looking for a new identity. 

3. Peterson is coming back from a horrible injury next year and a new number may mean a new beginning. 

The first two points need no explanation, but let me clarify on the third point.

Many NFL fans, Minnesota Vikings fans and critics are doubting that Peterson will ever return to his "beast-like" form after this injury. Peterson has been a warrior his whole career and has been back from a horrible neck injury he suffered in college—this injury is worse and will be tougher to come back from.

In recent history, another athlete who was the best at his position changed his number from eight to 24—Kobe Bryant.

Many people thought that Kobe changed his number because he wanted a new beginning, and as minor a jersey number may seem, it means a whole lot to players and fans. Kobe continued to succeed with his new number. Kobe grew out of the immature phase he had while wearing No. 8—it also reminded fans of the Kobe that was accused of rape in Denver, Colo. 

Peterson is not in the same boat as Kobe when it comes to immaturity and being in the press for bad reasons. Peterson is in the same boat as Kobe when it comes being overlooked for new and younger talent.

Many fans are barking that LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice and Arian Foster are the new breed of running backs and are all better than "All Day" Adrian Peterson. Peterson has much to prove to his doubters next year, like Kobe did when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were coming up.

If he comes back healthy, Peterson is still the best running back in the NFL.

Will a new number change much? It might.

Personally, I think Adrian should stick to his number because that is his identity, but this knee injury really affected him on a personal level and it seems as if he wants to start anew. 

A new number change for Peterson might mean a new beginning for him—hopefully for Vikings fans it is a continuation of his life as number 28 for the Vikings.