In a post on Instagram on Friday, Peterson appeared to refute a report he's seeking $8 million annually and cautioned he's taking his time:
Hours earlier, ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler cited a source from a team currently scouring the running back market who said he believes "Peterson wanted more than $8 million in the first year of a contract."
If Peterson found a team willing to pay him $8 million in 2017, he would instantly become one of the league's highest-paid backs:
|Top NFL RB Average Salaries (2017 Season)|
|1||Le'Veon Bell||Pittsburgh Steelers||$12,120,000|
|2||LeSean McCoy||Buffalo Bills||$8,000,000|
|3||Doug Martin||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||$7,150,000|
|4||Lamar Miller||Houston Texans||$6,500,000|
|5||Chris Ivory||Jacksonville Jaguars||$6,400,000|
Peterson was initially scheduled to earn a base salary of $11.75 million next season, but the Vikings opted out of the final year of his deal and allowed the 32-year-old to test free agency. They then signed Latavius Murray to a three-year, $15 million deal.
Now in search of a new team, Peterson's list of suitors seems limited.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora cited the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions as possible landing spots; however, the Silver and Black's top priority appears to be coaxing Marshawn Lynch out of retirement.
The Green Bay Packers have also been considered a potential destination for Peterson after Eddie Lacy signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
According to ESPN.com's Ben Goessling (h/t Fowler), the Packers "have interest in meeting with Peterson, but that might not happen until after next month's draft."
Peterson may have to play the waiting game to find out where he'll be playing in 2017.
Not only have teams had leverage with running backs throughout free agency—just look at the small guarantees Lacy and Murray netted—but they'll also have the luxury of maintaining it through a draft that's loaded with prized tailback prospects.
Contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com.