8 NFL Teams Who Should Sign Adrian Peterson And 7 Who Should Stay Away

Adrian Peterson is officially a free agent. While it was once unthinkable that the Minnesota Vikings would ever part ways with the star running back, a combination of factors has led to them releasing the one player that nobody thought they would ever release. Because it’s been a couple of years since Peterson has taken the field for a whole season, let’s remind you that Peterson is one of the greatest running backs of all time and that he has shown no evidence of slowing down aside from the seasons he missed due to injuries and legal issues. Peterson would be a welcome addition to any NFL roster.

That being said, there are only a few teams in the league that truly need Peterson, have the resources to acquire him, and actually should make the effort to sign him. That last part is the deciding factor. Of all of Peterson’s potential suitors, there are a select few teams which should actually do everything they can to sign him despite the fact that there are many teams in the league that could do so. These are the eight teams who should sign Adrian Peterson and the seven teams who should stay away.

15 15. Should - Green Bay Packers

Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

14 14. Stay Away - Miami Dolphins

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

13 13. Should - Carolina Panthers

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

12 12. Stay Away - Houston Texans

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

11 11. Should - New York Giants

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

10 10. Stay Away - New Orleans Saints

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Admittedly, New Orleans is a fascinating potential landing spot for Peterson. In fact, you could actually argue that Peterson would help turn the Saints into immediate contenders. After all, the team’s biggest hole right now is their running game. No offense to Mark Ingram, but he very well may have reached his peak last season when he put up 1,063 yards. Besides, he hasn’t exactly proven that he’s able to stay healthy. The problem with bringing Peterson to New Orleans comes down to two numbers; age and salary. Adrian Peterson is 31 years old which is fairly old for a starting NFL running back that’s carried the ball as often as Peterson.

9 9. Should - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

8 8. Stay Away - Chicago Bears

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears are on this list as a representative for teams like Cleveland, Jacksonville, and the San Francisco 49ers. These teams all have two things in common. They desperately need an upgrade at running back, and they’re all awful. A guy like Adrian Peterson can help these teams in some ways. For instance, he could go to Chicago and help the Bears achieve a winning record. The problem is that Peterson isn’t going to help Chicago or any of these other teams achieve anything more than a better regular season record. Plus, Jeremy Langford had a breakout season, ranking second in the NFL in rushing yards and that didn't help the Bears much.

7 7. Should - Indianapolis Colts

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

6 6. Stay Away - Los Angeles Chargers

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Not too long ago, the big trend in roster building involved the thunder and lightning dual running back set-up. The idea is that you get one power back (thunder) to handle short yardage and goalline work and a quicker running back (lightning) to serve as an exterior runner and pass option. It’s worked to varying degrees of success. Theoretically, the Chargers could piece together their own version of this combo by having an aging Peterson settle into a power runner role while young Melvin Gordon provides the sparks. Even better, the Chargers could use Peterson’s name value to help sell tickets to their new home.

5 5. Should - Seattle Seahawks

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

4 4. Stay Away - Denver Broncos

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Denver Broncos a good team? It’s a fair question. When the Broncos had Peyton Manning at the helm, they had every team quaking in fear at the prospect of facing their dynamic offense and daunting defense. Now, however, the Broncos defense is having to carry a disproportionate amount of the load, and it’s starting to show. On offense, the Broncos rarely look better than “okay,” which is pretty amazing when you look at some of the talent available to them. You can’t rule out the Broncos, but few teams fear them.

3 3. Should - New England Patriots

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The best running back Tom Brady has ever worked with is either Kevin Faulk or Corey Dillon based on your personal preference. Think about that. Brady has won five Super Bowls and has never played with a running back better than Kevin Faulk or Corey Dillon. Running backs might not be as crucial as they once were, but that’s still impressive. What do you think Brady could do with someone like Adrian Peterson in the backfield? That’s an honest question, actually, as we really have no way of knowing how Brady would play with a true star running back.

2 2. Stay Away - Dallas Cowboys

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

1 1. Should - Oakland Raiders

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Hardcore Raiders fans are going to tell you a very simple story when you ask them what happened to their beloved team in 2016. They’ll say that everything was going according to plan and then Derek Carr succumbed to injury. That’s not entirely inaccurate, but that story overlooks a few key aspects of the season. Namely, it doesn’t cover how bad the Raiders looked without their star quarterback at the helm. While the same can be said of many NFL teams, the one-dimensional nature of the Raiders’ offense became particularly obvious once that dimension was removed.

Can Peterson ensure that the Raiders will be at their best even when Carr isn’t on the field? Maybe not, but the thought of a healthy Carr having Peterson to work with instantly makes the Raiders one of the most intimidating teams in the league.

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8 NFL Teams Who Should Sign Adrian Peterson And 7 Who Should Stay Away