Latavius Murray signs with Vikings, likely ending Adrian Peterson era in Minnesota

Latavius Murray’s visit with the Minnesota Vikings went so well Wednesday that he actually ended up staying at the team’s facilities until the wee hours of Thursday morning. 

The former Raiders running back officially signed a deal with the Vikings in a move that was announced by the team just after 1:45 a.m. ET on Thursday. The late time didn’t seem to bother Murray, who did an interview with the team’s website after the contract was announced. 

“It was an experience,” Murray said of his first free agency tour. “Obviously, it being my first time, I didn’t really know what to expect, but just glad I get the chance to play the game again, with a great team, with a great history here in Minnesota.”

The Raiders, who selected Murray in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, decided not to retain the running back after his rookie contract expired following the 2016 season. That put the 27-year-old on the market for the first time, and he took advantage of it by taking visits to Jacksonville and Seattle, along with Minnesota. 

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Latavius Murray is headed for Minnesota.  USATSI

Despite missing two games in 2016, Murray still rumbled his way to 12 rushing touchdowns, which ranked fifth in the NFL last season. The running back also carried the ball 195 times for 788 yards last year. Murray’s biggest season came in 2015, when he started in all 16 games for the Raiders and rushed for 1,066 yards during a season that led to his first and only Pro Bowl appearance. 

In Minnesota, the addition of Murray pretty much means the Adrian Peterson era is officially over after 10 seasons. The 2012 NFL MVP is the team’s all-time leading rusher with 11,747 yards. 

After the Vikings decided not pick up the option year in Peterson’s contract, Peterson’s dad said that his son would still like to return to Minnesota. However, that option is pretty much out the door now since the Vikings have Murray. 

Over the past two days, the murkiness of the running back market has started to clear up. Going into the week, Peterson and Murray both had their eyes on two of the same teams: Seattle and Minnesota. 

Peterson won’t be going to either team, though, because both have now signed a veteran free agent. The Seahawks signed Eddie Lacy to a one-year deal on Tuesday

With Murray now in Minnesota and Lacy in Seattle, that doesn’t leave a lot of options for Peterson. The running back reportedly wants to play for the Raiders, a team that is looking to fill the hole left by Murray, so if the money is right, the two sides could be a good fit. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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