The Vikings let go of Adrian Peterson, by not picking up his option in 2017, after several years of injury and under production from the running back. There are only a couple of teams that actually make sense for AP in free agency. He needs a team willing to utilize a running back out of power formations and a team where he can win without taking a bunch of money.

Despite his belief he can play five more years in the NFL, the contractual interest for a 30-year-old will be substantially less than half a decade’s worth.

Enter the Patriots, who have long been a haven for veterans interested in chasing a ring without actually being paid the equivalent of their name and/or production. 

According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, Peterson might be interested in one of the Patriots patented, late-career, big-name veteran contracts. 

From Guregian:

A source close to Peterson told the Herald that since AP has already earned a ton — more than $97 million is his career — it’s certainly something he’d consider. Peterson knows how it worked out for Darrelle Revis and Chris Long. But naturally, there will be a lot of teams in the mix, including the Vikings. And, of course, the Pats would have to want to bring in an aging back with an injury history, not to mention baggage.

The idea of AP playing for the Patriots and filling LeGarrette Blount’s role is actually pretty intriguing. Over the last two years, Blount rushed 464 times for just about four yards per carry and 25 touchdowns. He was a short-yardage monster, and a guy the Pats could lean on when they wanted to pound the rock or close out games.

Peterson would have to be willing to do two things. One, take less money. The Patriots don’t play around and if he tries to push Bill Belichick for more cash, New England probably walks away. And two, Peterson has to be willing not to be the focal point of the offense. He needs to know this team is based on Tom Brady and the passing game first, and the running game second. (Although it’s also possible the Patriots want to ease the load on Brady down the stretch of his career.) 

At this stage of his career, both should be reasonable asks. If the Patriots are also interested, a potential deal makes sense if Peterson is willing to satisfy those