As we enter the second weekend of free agency, more than 200 players who were ready to hit the free-agent market have been signed by their own teams or new teams. The Minnesota Vikings have not been overly active, but they have added to the list. There has been separate flurries of activity, from the opening day March 9 to the reigniting of free agency last Monday after a slow weekend.
Of all the players who have come off the board, most that were expected to go have gone.
Now officially referred to as the Artist Formerly Known as a Viking Adrian Peterson is not among them.
Several media outlets came up with ranking lists. For the sake of fairness, we opt to go with an up-and-comer – an organization so humble it refers to itself as the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
Of its listing of its top 25 free agents, 24 of them are gone – and the only that remains (Tony Romo at No. 9) was never actually a free agent. The list doesn’t include those free agents who were hit with the franchise tag. Here is the list of the remaining free agents in their top 100.
No. 9 – Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys (not technically a free agent).
No. 25 – Johnathan Hankins, DT, New York Giants
No. 27 – T.J. McDonald, S, Los Angeles Rams
No. 31 – Zach Brown, LB, Buffalo Bills
No. 34 – Kevin Minter, LB, Arizona Cardinals
No. 36 – Devin Taylor, DE, Detroit Lions
No. 28 – Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
No. 40 – Manti Te’o, LB, Los Angeles Chargers
No. 46 – Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
No. 52 – Alterraun Verner, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No. 53 – Perry Riley Jr., LB, Oakland Raiders
No. 62 – Bradley McDougald, S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No. 67 – Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets
No. 72 – Brandon Flowers, CB, Los Angeles Chargers
No. 73 – Michael Floyd, WR, New England Patriots
No. 75 – Gerald Hodges, LB, San Francisco 49ers
No. 77 – Tramon Williams, CB, Cleveland Browns
No. 78 – Ryan Clady, OT, New York Jets
No. 82 – Nick Mangold, C, New York Jets
No. 89 – Austin Pasztor, G, Cleveland Browns
No. 91 – LaGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots
No. 97 – Andrew Hawkins, WR, Cleveland Browns
No. 99 – Jacob Tamme, TE, Atlanta Falcons
No. 100 – Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Peterson’s name jumps out on that list and speaks loudly, especially given that he’s been effectively insulted by teams he thought would have an early interest in signing him.
The Vikings told him they’re moving on. He visited with Seattle, who turned around and signed overweight Eddie Lacy. He was viewed as a frontrunner to go to Oakland, but the Raiders are looking to get Marshawn Lynch out of retirement as their primary option.
It’s becoming clear that Peterson and/or his people didn’t accurately gauge what his value on the open market would be. Now the questions become how low will his salary have to go and what length of a contract will someone offer him.
Of running backs that were listed on the top 100, Latavius Murray was the highest rated at No. 28 and Lacy was listed at No. 30. Peterson was behind them.
At a time when Buffalo felt it necessary to sign former Viking Joe Banyard, Peterson still can’t find work. Perhaps it was that his asking price was too high. Perhaps there are just too many concerns from other teams to invest big money in a player who is 31 and has a recent history of knee injuries.
Either way, it looks like Peterson is going to have to swallow his pride and take a massive pay cut. Everyone else saw this coming. It’s unclear whether that reality has sunk in with Peterson and his agent.
There’s little doubt that a competitor like Peterson will end up somewhere this season – even his stubborn pride isn’t likely to send him into a self-imposed retirement. But, the longer he stays on the board of available free agents, the more frustrating the situation gets for him.