The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to be linked to Adrian Peterson, who looks like he's on his way out of Minnesota. Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the Bucs are one of six teams "in the mix" for Peterson. And now Adrian Peterson's agent is trolling the Buccaneers with a Bucs cap and an Adrian Peterson jersey.
That's nice. Peterson hasn't been shy about wanting to leave the Vikings, and he certainly would make the Bucs better. Unfortunately for Peterson, Buccaneers fans and the Minnesota Vikings, there are a lot of reasons why this probably won't happen. I'll just quote myself here:
Peterson is old, has been less productive in recent years, the Bucs have a pretty full stable of running backs anyway, they don't have a surplus of draft picks and Peterson's contract is ridiculously cumbersome -- that is going to have to be renegotiated regardless of who trades for him, if any team does. Oh, and there's the whole beating-his-child-bloody-with-a-switch thing.
To make matters even worse, a recent report suggested the Vikings were looking for a first-round pick, and a starting cornerback. For a 30-year-old running back with an obscenely expensive contract. That's absurd compensation -- Peterson is great, but he's not the running back he used to be. Even if you get Peterson-in-his-prime, he has probably two years of productivity left, at best. That's not the kind of player you want to start handing out significant assets for.
Other reports have been less aggressive, with Charles Robinson of Yahoo! noting that the Vikings could get "at least" a second-round pick. That's still too rich for my blood. The Bucs have a host of needs they have to fill in the draft, most notably along the offensive line, and they simply can't afford to give up anything other than late-round picks, unless they want to cripple the line -- again.
Meanwhile, the biggest hurdle may be Peterson's contract. He's set to make a ridiculous $13 million this year, with his 2016 and 2017 contract numbers heading into quarterback territory at $15 and $17 million, when he'll be 31 and 32 respectively. I don't care how good a player he is, no running back in the NFL is worth that kind of money -- and a player who has clearly entered the final phase of his career is never going to be worth anything close to that. The only running back who even comes close to that kind of salary is Marshawn Lynch, who will earn $12 million this year -- and he'll get $9 million and $7 million in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Behind him, no running back's contractis worth more than $9 million per year, let alone the $15 million per year the Bucs would be paying Peterson without a new contract.
All in all, despite reports and agent trolling, there are simply too many hurdles for this kind of deal to happen. The Vikings' asking price would have come down, a lot, and Peterson would have to be willing to take a massive pay cut. And until there's some indication that that's likely to happen, you can assume Peterson is not coming to Tampa.