Former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson became a free agent yesterday afternoon, and Giants head coach Ben McAdoo neither admitted nor denied any intent the he may have in terms of signing the future Hall-of-Famer. During a press conference Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, McAdoo confirmed to reporters that the New York Giants were at least somewhat interested in Peterson, saying “We'll go take a look at him, we'll evaluate him, we'll get a grade on anyone who's available.”
Peterson has generated some buzz around the league after talking and tweeting that he likes what the Giants are doing this offseason, but it is unclear as to whether or not that interest is mutual. However, the Giants could use another back after releasing Rashad Jennings, and Paul Perkins may not be a player the Giants can rely on as their feature back. Signing the 32-year-old Peterson would provide a nice tandem coming out of the backfield and give some balance to an offense that was overly pass-heavy last season. He would provide some stability in case Perkins struggles in his second year in the league.
At the same time, Peterson’s pension for injury and the simple fact that McAdoo might just want to stick with his promising second-year back and see if he can be the next great running back in the NFL. He’s also going to ask for a lot of money, and the Giants simply lack the cap space to accommodate outlandish requests. The Giants could always go to the draft for a back as well, and this year’s class is particularly loaded with the likes of Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffery and D’Onta Foreman all on the table.
The general consensus after McAdoo’s press conference is that he has confidence and Perkins and liked what he saw from him last season, but he’s keeping his options open, like any good coach would do. Adding Peterson would vault the Giants into a championship contender for 2017, so it wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see him sign with the team.