Surprising favorite emerges to land Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson has enjoyed enormous success against his three NFC North rivals. Could he end playing for one of them in 2017?

 

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings declined their option on RB Adrian Peterson, making him a free agent.

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Peterson turns 32 next month, is coming off knee surgery and averaged 1.9 yards per carry in three games last season. But most observers think AP still has some great football left. That's why a slew of teams are in the mix for his services.

The surprising frontrunner? Green Bay, the team Peterson has faced more than any other.

In 17 games against the division-rival Packers, Peterson did plenty of damage -- averaging 20.4 carries for 104.6 yards (5.1 ypc) with 14 touchdowns -- but his team went 6-10-1.

From BookMaker.eu: Adrian Peterson's team in Week 1 of 2017 regular season

  • Green Bay Packers +250
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +350
  • Oakland Raiders +500
  • New England Patriots +1000
  • Seattle Seahawks +1200
  • Los Angeles Rams +1500
  • New York Giants +1500
  • Washington Redskins +2000
  • Dallas Cowboys +2500
  • Field +100

GREEN BAY PACKERS (risk $100 to win $250): The Packers only have Ty Montgomery under contract. They need a runner, and AP would love to show the Vikes they're undervaluing him. Plus, Peterson wouldn't see stacked boxes like he did in Minnesota.

But Peterson is not great in the receiving game, either as a blocker or receiver. 

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (risk $100 to win $350): Bucs RB Doug Martin is suspended for the first three games of 2017. Their rushing attack proved volatile last season, so AP could start from day 1.

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OAKLAND RAIDERS (risk $100 to win $500): With Latavius Murray scheduled for unrestricted free agency, Oakland could be in the hunt for a lead back. This would be another promising situation where Peterson would go to a Super Bowl contender led by an elite quarterback.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (risk $100 to win $1,000): If the Pats don't re-sign LeGarrette Blount, Peterson would fit nicely in the early-down hammer role Blount rode to a franchise-record 18 rushing TDs. Peterson could be the perfect complement to elusive pass-catching backs Dion Lewis and James White.

Eddie Lacy is another veteran back who'd seem to make sense for New England if Blount leaves.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (risk $100 to win $1,200): Christine Michael was cut, Thomas Rawls constantly battles the injury bug, and CJ Prosise is unproven. Enter AP, who could provide veteran stability in the Seahawks' backfield.

LOS ANGELES RAMS (risk $100 to win $1,500): The Rams are set at starting RB with Todd Gurley, but could badly use a capable backup like Peterson. But would AP want to serve as a change-of-pace back behind a stud like Gurley?

NEW YORK GIANTS (risk $100 to win $1,500): Peterson took notice when the G-Men released RB Rashad Jennings. He'd be a nice fit for this cold-weather team that ranked 29th in rushing (88.3 yards per game). If the Giants don't think second-year RB Paul Perkins can carry the load, they could get involved.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (risk $100 to win $2,000): The Redskins already have a crowded backfield, and Rob Kelley emerged as a weapon last season, but only topped 100 yards once. Matt Jones was a healthy scratch for the last eight games. AP could start right away.

DALLAS COWBOYS (risk $100 to win $2,500): Peterson was born in Palestine, Tex., and played college football at nearby Oklahoma. But does AP have too much pride to accept a backup role behind phenom Ezekiel Elliott?

FIELD (risk $100 to win $100)