With rumors of Adrian Peterson to the Bucs fading over time, new developments could rekindle the interest the Buccaneers have in the veteran running back
There was a time earlier in the offseason where Adrian Peterson to the Buccaneers was topping headlines after he listed Tampa Bay as one of three teams he would like to play for following his impending release from the Minnesota Vikings. After the rumor smoke cleared, Peterson was released, but today remains a free agent. In fact, the Buccaneers didn’t even appear to pay him much mind.
That may change shortly.
It hasn’t taken long, but it is no secret that Jameis Winston is the absolute leader of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad. From motivating players to providing for the community, it seems in Tampa that if Jameis has something to say, among others, the Buccaneers brass is listening. When Winston stated, “You better believe we want DeSean here” to Tampa Bay Times reporter Greg Auman, the Buccaneers made it their top offseason priority to make sure DeSean Jackson would be playing in a Bucs uniform next season. Now the front office has their listening ears for Winston perked up for a different reason.
Learned the extremes that Michael & Kobe were willing to go from arguably the greatest trainer of all time from Tim Grover. Watched a proud, high-powered All-Star (Adrian Peterson) train like a rookie trying to make a team. Most of all, witnessed a young 22 yr old quarterback lead a group of NFL vets like a 5-star general. Today was a DAY! #HowCoolIsThis #SlayOn
Players often get together in the offseason to participate in workouts and it doesn’t necessarily make sound waves in the media. It was however Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter that made the recent workout newsworthy. According to ESPN.com, Koetter’s reaction to this photo of the emerging star spending offseason workout time with the veteran running back seems to prove there is still an interest in bringing Peterson to Tampa for the 2017 season.
“I’ve seen Adrian Peterson many times — one of the best running backs to ever play,” Koetter said. “I’m anxious to talk to Jameis and ask him about how his workouts went.”
With the Buccaneers still remaining silent about the Doug Martin saga, Koetter’s comments have to at the least raise eyebrows across the Tampa Bay area to the idea that the future Hall of Famer could possibly land in a pewter and red uniform next season.
The Bucs could still cut ties with Doug Martin moving forward, following his four-game suspension for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. No decision has been made yet, but if the Buccaneers do decide to part ways with the sixth-year running back, Adrian Peterson could be signed to help secure the running back position for a team that is ready to win now.
Although Peterson has yet to find a team in free agency, don’t look at his inability to land a suitor early on in free agency to drive his asking price down. Peterson had an $18 million team option with the Vikings this season that they failed to pick up, an easy decision for the Vikes based on Peterson’s age and the fact he is coming off of knee surgery.
Adrian Peterson did have a meeting with the Seattle Seahawks, who decided to go with free agent running back Eddie Lacy instead, who has had issues with his conditioning in the past. The Seahawks decision to go with Lacy over Peterson led many to speculate that Peterson’s asking price was simply to high. Peterson took to Twitter to respond to any one/team that feels his asking price is too high:
The Tweet teach the world two things. First off, Peterson will not be playing for any less than $8 million next season and secondly, he is in no hurry to find a suitor. The second point may play well into his favor, as following the draft, teams will look back to free agency to fill remaining holes in their roster. Although parting ways with Martin will not cost the Buccaneers in term of dead-cap money following his suspension, Martin was scheduled to earn just under $6 million this upcoming season (prorated for the three games he will miss due to suspension). If the Buccaneers do decide to rid themselves of Martin, Peterson will come at a heavier price tag.
The Buccaneers do have the cap room to make this move happen, especially if they were to cut Martin, but the question of how much he has left in the tank at 32 years old has to be raised. Although father time does have a way of sneaking up on people, Peterson seems to be in great shape and also looks to be moving well on his surgically repaired knee. Sometimes, the best response is made without words: