Free agent Peter­son is find­ing no tak­ers

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINGTONPOST.COM/SPORTS - EARLY LEAD BY MATT BONESTEEL matt.bonesteel@wash­ Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­­lylead

The ac­tive pe­riod of NFL free agency has come and gone and run­ning back Adrian Peter­son re­mains un­signed. On one hand, it’s a lit­tle sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing ev­ery­thing Peter­son has done on the field over his ca­reer (three NFL rush­ing ti­tles, seven Pro Bowl bids, etc.). On the other hand, here’s Bleacher Re­port’s Mike Free­man:

“When B/R spoke to around a half-dozen team ex­ec­u­tives about Peter­son, the con­sen­sus is that many teams be­lieve he’s ef­fec­tively done. When they watch video of Peter­son, they see a player who has lost the most im­por­tant part of his game: his burst.”

In the words of one scout, Peter­son is “a glo­ri­fied full­back.” Well then! Peter­son turned 32 ear­lier this week and is com­ing off a sea­son in which a knee in­jury lim­ited him to just three games and 37 car­ries for Min­nesota, so the ap­pre­hen­sion is cer­tainly un­der­stand­able. But one could counter that he’s a “young” 32, if such a thing ex­ists: Peter­son sat out the en­tire 2014 sea­son not be­cause of in­jury but be­cause of the child­abuse charges that were levied against him (he pleaded no con­test to a mis­de­meanor charge of reck­less as­sault and re­ceived no jail time).

So that’s a whole year of wearand-tear that he didn’t take. Plus, the Vik­ings’ of­fen­sive line was a hor­ror show last sea­son; Peter­son might have had trou­ble find­ing room to run even had he been healthy.

But still, Peter­son’s age and re­cent in­jury his­tory ob­vi­ously are work­ing against him.

And then there are Peter­son’s salary de­mands, which re­port­edly are high for a player with all th­ese things go­ing against him. And the fact that NFL teams are about to take their pick from a run­ning back draft class that Vik­ings Coach Mike Zim­mer has called “one of the best . . . in a long time,” fur­ther de­plet­ing Peter­son’s op­por­tu­ni­ties.

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