The Minnesota Vikings announced thatthey will not pick up the 2017 option on running backAdrian Petersonon Tuesday, allowing the franchise superstar to hit the open market when free agency begins on March 9.
While the window is still open on Peterson staying in the Twin Cities on a reduced deal, a number of suitors could line up and offer an attractive enough deal for him to ditch the Vikings' familiar purple and gold after a decade with the team. Last month on ESPN's First Take, Peterson told hosts Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim that he has thought about playing for the New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans. This afternoon on SportsCenter, ESPN's Ed Werder named the Giants, Texans, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks among the teams he thinks would be a good fit -- though not the Dallas Cowboys, who have been rumored to be eyeing him.
The Detroit Lions could also be a destination, as could the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, both of whom ESPN Vikings reporter Ben Goessling laid out earlier this month as potential destinations.
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As it stands, Peterson currently leads the Vikings in all-time carries (2,418), rushing yards (11,747) and rushing touchdowns (97), though he has only played in 20 games over the past three seasons due to a combination of injuries and a suspension by way of the NFL's Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list. Among NFL players with at least 100 career games to their name, only Hall of Famers Jim Brown (104.3) and Barry Sanders (99.8) averaged more rushing yards per game than Peterson's current clip (95.5).
-- Brendan C. Hall