Larry Fitzgerald laments Cardinals passing on Peterson

On draft day 2007, the Arizona Cardinals selected offensive tackle Levi Brown at No. 5, leaving Adrian Peterson to fall to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 7.

The fate of two franchises changed that day.

Larry Fitzgerald was entering his fourth season at the time and said he still ribs general manager Steve Keim -- then director of college scouting -- about passing on the best running back of this generation.

"Oh man, could you imagine?" Fitzgerald said Tuesday, via ESPN.com. "I always mess with Steve. I'm like, 'Steve, we should've just took him with the fifth pick a couple years back. We could've had a couple Super Bowls right now.'"

We could play the "what if" game all day with any franchise.

There seemed like a chance in the past year that the Cards might obtain Peterson. While the running back spent last season on the Commissioner's Exempt List, Arizona was highly regarded as a logical landing spot if the Vikings jettisoned their best player, possibly in a trade.

"When I was going through that process, of course Arizona was a place that grabbed my attention, especially with the type of season they had last year and the warm weather," Peterson said.

The running back didn't want to discuss how deep that "process" took him last season.

"I don't want to get into all that," he said. "At the end of the day, I knew that I would be here in Minnesota when it came down to it."

It's been eight years of what-ifs for both Fitzgerald and Peterson, who always wanted to play together. They just can't agree on which team.

"I did envision it," Peterson said of playing with Fitzgerald. "Fitz is a guy I looked up to when I was in high school and has just been an amazing player.

"I've always envisioned having him on my team, even if he came to Minnesota."

The two will face off Thursday night in Arizona when the Cardinals host the Vikings, exclusively on NFL Network.

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