Cris Carter says Vikings let Adrian Peterson go because of his 'expiration date'

Noted football philosopher Pete Prisco likes to say, “if you are old and slow, then you must go.” Pete would almost certainly apply that rule to the Adrian Peterson situation in Minnesota.

And it appears that former Vikings star Cris Carter would agree. Carter, speaking to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, said that Peterson was past his “expiration date” and that’s why the Vikings decided to move on. 

“I didn’t think (Peterson) would finish his career with the Vikings,’’ Carter said. “If you look at the number of times he’s been injured the last couple of years and then also the price, what’s going to be your price point? Eventually, everybody has an expiration date, including Adrian. I think the Vikings have gone about it the right way. … 

“I’m sure Adrian wanted to play for something significant [in salary].”

The money factor can’t be underrated here. Peterson was set to make $18 million in 2017 but the Vikings declined a team option to pick up that salary, because it’s wholly out of whack with the current running back market. 

Peterson is a future Hall of Fame back, a dominant runner who is one of the best backs the NFL has ever seen. But he’s on the wrong side of 30 and he hasn’t been healthy or productive the last few years.

“I think he has some football left in him,’’ Carter added. “I think football is a game that’s very, very hard if you don’t practice. Adrian hasn’t practiced a lot the last two years, so I think it’s affected his overall ability to be effective in the game.’’

The Vikings officially moved on when they signed Latavius Murray this offseason, letting Peterson know he would not be in the team’s plans moving forward. (Peterson is so well respected, by the way, that Murray changed numbers to not use AP’s No. 28 in Minnesota.)

This offseason has made it clear that teams just aren’t interested in paying big money to running backs. Peterson is no exception just because of his past success.

AP has made it no secret he wants to keep playing, but he’s going to have to take a serious paycut if he wants to play. Even a team like the Raiders, who Peterson has identified as a club he would want to play for, have shown more interest in trying to lure Marshawn Lynch out of retirement than they have trying to land Peterson in free agency. 

That’s a major red flag. So is the fact that Peterson would be willing to take a team-friendly deal to play for the Patriots, only the Patriots probably aren’t interested in bringing him in. 

Peterson is going to need to come to the realization that his expiration date is closer than he’d like to believe if he wants to keep playing. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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