Adrian Peterson is the NFL's reigning MVP, again sits among the league leaders in rushing -- and should be traded by the Minnesota Vikings. At least that's what one Minnesota newspaper columnist argues. His rationale? The Vikes are 1-4, going nowhere and need a host of better players, not one star. Do you agree, or should Minnesota stand pat with Peterson?
What is this, fantasy football? Vikings would never get enough in returnThis is fantasy football at its best. First of all, there has to be a team willing to do this. That team, of course, must need a running back, not need a quarterback (if it is willing to give up high-value draft picks), be playoff-caliber and have a lot of available salary-cap room.
One team that theoretically could fit those criteria is the Cincinnati Bengals, but this isn't something they would do. Other teams will have a lot of cap room next year but don't need a running back (the Chicago Bears come to mind). The New York Jets have a lot of cap room, but is Peterson the missing link to put them in the playoffs? I don't think so. They need to get the QB spot figured out first -- and must keep their draft choices to keep building for the future.
That is why I call this fantasy football. In reality, the Vikings just wouldn't get a big enough payout for Peterson. Would I trade Peterson if somebody gave me the Herschel Walker deal? Absolutely. If somebody offered me a first-rounder, plus another draft pick, I would say no. And regardless, right now, Minnesota is a QB away from being a playoff team.
Minnesota would be wise to explore trades while Peterson's value remains highAs crazy as the trade sounds, it might not be a bad idea to trade Peterson for a few top draft picks and a young emerging player. While Peterson is a likely Hall of Famer, he is on the verge of becoming a descending player at this point of his career. Now, I know some will dispute that fact -- based on his 2,000-yard season in 2012 -- but history suggests most running backs never regain their form after such a stellar season, particularly at Peterson's age (28). Factor in the wear and tear of 1,800-plus carries over a seven-year NFL career, and it's unlikely Peterson will continue to perform at an elite level for the next three seasons.
A wise baseball man, Branch Rickey, once said it's better to get rid of a player a year too early rather than a year too late. The rationale behind that statement: You can maximize a player's value while he's still viewed as elite, which translates into better trade value for draft picks, etc. Bill Polian adhered to the strategy when he dumped Marshall Faulk in a trade that helped the Indianapolis Colts build the foundation of a team that consistently competed for the AFC championship for more than a decade.
Therefore, the Vikings would be wise to explore the trade possibilities and make a move if they can net enough top picks to plug a few holes on their roster (defensive end and quarterback). This could spark a return to relevance in the NFC. Remember, good general managers make moves without allowing the sentimental value of players to cloud the equation.
Adrian Peterson is the football version of Albert PujolsI look at Adrian Peterson today the same way I looked at Albert Pujols a couple years ago. When the St. Louis Cardinals decided to part ways with their iconic slugger, I understood their thinking. The Cards knew they already had seen the best of Pujols. He was getting older and had suffered a few injuries, so it made sense then -- and continues to make sense now, as St. Louis has made the NLCS in both seasons since the divorce.
The same goes with Peterson. He's 28, and with a violent running style that leaves him susceptible to getting hurt, he won't enjoy more than three or four more effective years -- max. But any team would fall all over themselves for three or four more years of Peterson as "the missing piece" to a Super Bowl puzzle. (Not to build the team around, but to add to a roster that's already pretty good.) I don't know if you'll get a Herschel Walker-type deal for him, but certainly you can get a combination of high draft picks and two or three starters in return.
When you make the best running back in football available, everyone will want in.
Vikings and Cowboys could execute another Herschel Walker trade -- in reverse!The NFL really needs some blockbuster trades, so it would be awesome to see the Vikings receive a wealth of riches for Adrian Peterson. I would like to imagine a team on the cusp of the playoffs/title contention making a move. And when I think of this, I can't help but imagine what Cowboys boss Jerry Jones would give up to get Peterson on America's Team. It would be the Herschel Walker trade ... in reverse!