Buccaneers Need to Say No to Adrian Peterson
Despite the obvious temptation, the Buccaneers need to stay away from Adrian Peterson.
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We all know that the Buccaneers running game is an issue. When your leading running back is a guy signed off the streets after the year began, there is reason to be concerned. Add that to the Doug Martin situation, and the Bucs find themselves really with an issue at the running back position.
Where do they go for help? As James Yarcho reported this week, there is a big name that might be interested in trading his Viking purple for Buc pewter. Adrian Peterson said that if the Vikings were to cut bait, one of the teams he would be interested in is our very own Bucs.
But is it the right idea for this team? As James noted, the running back class is deep in the upcoming draft. He also noted the reactions of Bucs fans. They were mixed, and understandably so. The Adrian Peterson we have watched for all of these years would take this offense to another level.
But, I side with the fans that are against it. Jason Licht and company need to stay away from temptation and resist the urge to bring Peterson here.
Part of it, at least for me, is the character issue. One of the great things about this Bucs roster is that they don’t currently have that problem here. Austin Seferian-Jenkins couldn’t get himself straight and he was released. It’s one of the things that is great about Licht and Dirk Koetter. They value character as well as ability. With such a deep rookie class, there isn’t an urgent need to change that value system.
But, the league values talent over character and that isn’t going to change. The problem is that Peterson has changed on that front as well. He simply isn’t the same running back he once was.
Yes, he won the rushing title in 2015, making him only the third back to win that award after the age of 30. It’s quite an accomplishment, no doubt. But if we look closer at his numbers, there is a troubling trend.
In November of 2015, Peterson ran for 158 yards in a win over the Falcons. However, take a look at his last five performances of that season:
- 8 carries, 18 yards
- 23 carries, 69 yards
- 18 carries, 63 yards
- 22 carries, 104 yards
- 19 carries, 67 yards
Aside from the one performance of 104, those outputs simply aren’t good. They are the outputs of a running back that has hit the magic number of 30 years old. It happens to all of them, and he was healthy in these performances. Take that into account, and include his three performances in 2016 when he was also presumably healthy, and you get these totals:
- 127 carries, 393 yards, 3.09 yards per carry, three touchdowns
That’s the last eight games, the equivalent of half of a season, with a healthy Adrian Peterson. Do those look like the numbers of the same guy? I don’t think so.
He will be 32 years old when the season begins, and now has knee problems on his resume. He wasn’t playing that well anyways. Let’s pass on Peterson.
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I’ll give you one exception.
Per Spotrac, Peterson is due $18 million from the Vikings. This is why they are likely to get out of the deal, and nobody is giving him that kind of money either. I’ll take it further. The only way the Bucs should even consider it is if they can sign him to a non-guaranteed, “show me” contract.
Let him show everyone on the field he is healthy. Otherwise, forget about it. Comment your thoughts below…