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Peterson has pocketed close to $100 million over the past decade with the Minnesota Vikings. If he has reached a point in his career where chasing a championship is now a driving force, he could follow the well-worn path to New England, traveled in recent seasons by mercenary veterans such as Darrelle Revis and Chris Long.
Bill Belichick likes to be an outlier, zigging when the rest of the league zags. If one-dimensional power backs are devalued by the other 31 teams, perhaps Belichick will try to swoop in and steal the best one on the cheap as he did with an aging Corey Dillon in 2004.
With Dion Lewis and Super Bowl hero James White capably handling passing downs, Belichick could simply plug Peterson into LeGarrette Blount's early-down hammer role that generated 18 touchdowns last season.
Until agents begin negotiating with teams on Tuesday, though, Peterson-to-New England is simply conjecture.
Citing a source familiar with Peterson's situation, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported on Tuesday's edition of Free Agency Frenzy that there is "nothing going on" with the Patriots in the early stages of the NFL's negotiating window.
Belichick has been reluctant to pay running backs in excess of $2 million per year. Would Peterson be willing to leave several million on the table if another contender -- such as the Raiders, Giants or even his old familiar Vikings -- offers considerably more?