Could Adrian Peterson’s next NFL down be played for the Houston Texans?
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said if it happens it shouldn’t be a surprise.
Though he tabbed the Dallas Cowboys as the most likely landing spot for the suspended Minnesota Vikings running back, Florio told In The Loop on Sports Radio 610 on Friday that the Texans should be on the list of teams to watch if and when Peterson hits free agency this summer.
“I can’t help but think he plays for the Cowboys, even though they have DeMarco Murray,” Florio said. “When DeMarco complained about running into nine-man fronts, my reaction was, Welcome to Adrian Peterson’s entire career.
“I think a couple others to keep an eye on would be the Houston Texans. I think Adrian likes that surface and he’s performed well on that surface if I recall correctly, and you just never know who else out there would be potentially interested.”
Peterson, 29, is currently appealing his indefinite suspension by the NFL. He lost his appeal this week to be taken off the Commissioner’s Exempt List, which keeps him off the field but does keep him getting paid.
Given his age, position and 2015 cap figure — $15.4 million cap hit, only $2.4 million in dead money if cut — it was already incredibly possible that this season would be Peterson’s last in Minnesota.
Then Peterson was booked on felony child abuse charges. He later pled no contest to a reduced misdemeanor charge, accepting probation, a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of community service but no jail time.
Peterson becoming a Texan is an interesting prospect.
Owner Bob McNair is historically averse to bringing in players with character concerns. Head coach Bill O’Brien and GM Rick Smith seem to share that philosophy. Though the use of corporal punishment is widely accepted in Texas, O’Brien was born in Massachusetts. What would give?
Then there’s Arian Foster. His 2014 season all but epitomizes his career: dynamic (Foster’s 822 rushing yards, seven touchdowns and seven runs of 20 yards or more are all third in the NFL), but injury prone (Foster has already missed two games with hamstring and groin injuries, and didn’t practice on Thursday). Foster, 27, carries a $9 million cap hit in 2015 — and $5 million in dead money if cut or traded.
Peterson’s value, and the current market for running backs — especially in 2015 — is also intriguing. He’s older, has his own injury history and plays a relatively fungible position, but he’ll also be coming off a season in which he played only two games, and not because of injury. Plus, with Murray and Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch also possibly hitting free agency, there’s likely to be a buyer’s market.
As for Peterson’s performance all-time at NRG Stadium, he’s played only one game in his career in Houston, in 2012, and had 86 yards on 25 carries in a 23-6 Vikings win.
In what may be the most fascinating development in the NFL over the next few months, there’s all of a sudden a just as interesting local angle.
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