The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday afternoon that the team will not be picking up running back Adrian Peterson's 2017 team option, making the ten-year veteran a free agent on March 9th.
Reaction from the Vikings, Peterson
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said today, “Adrian is an important part of the Minnesota Vikings organization. We will continue to have conversations with his representatives and leave our future options open while determining what is best for both parties moving forward.”
The Vikings could decide to bring pack Peterson at a lower rate, something that both sides sound interested in.
In a statement to ESPN, Peterson said his time in Minnesota was incredible.
"It's been a great 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings. They know what I bring to the organization as a player, with my work ethic and dedication. I spoke with Rick Spielman this past weekend. The door is still open to find some common ground. I understand addressing the offensive line is one of their main priorities this offseason. In the meantime, I will explore my other options and see what path God leads me on. My main goal remains the same: to win a Super Bowl championship with a great team, which I also believe we have in Minnesota."
Peterson leaves the Vikings with 11,747 rushing yards and 97 touchdowns. While the door is still open for a reunion between the two sides, Peterson will now look for a new home for the 2017 season. After being drafted by the Vikings in the 2007 NFL Draft, Peterson has done his part to help his team get to the playoffs a few times, but he was never able to help Minnesota in its ultimate goal to win a Super Bowl trophy.
What happens now for Peterson?
Adrian Peterson will hit the open market for the first time in his illustrated NFL career. The 31-year old running back was released from the only place he ever called home after a historic 10-years there. Peterson will leave Minnesota with 11,747 rushing yards, best for 16th all time. The former league MVP will likely have his line of suitors despite being placed on IR last season and missing the entire 2014 season due to a suspension. Some potential suitors include the Houston Texans, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. These are teams that Peterson has expressed interest in playing for in the past. No matter who signs AP, only time will tell if he can turn back the clock and be the MVP player that he once was.