With the LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso trade as a backdrop, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has given the franchise a list of teams he would be willing to re-structure his contract for to help facilitate a trade, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! sports
According to Robinson, those teams are Dallas, Arizona, Indianapolis, San Diego, and Tampa Bay. When you add in the McCoy for Alonso trade, there are a couple things that stick out for me:
1) The Vikings can get a good player and/or draft picks for Peterson: Kiko Alonso is one heck of a good young linebacker. Yes, he missed all of 2014, but he had a very impressive rookie season, and if healthy, the Eagles got a younger player on a cheaper contract who one can reasonably expect to get better. In exchange, they gave up an expensive, aging running back who will start regressing in a season or two. I'm not going to go into all the players the Vikings could expect in return using the Alonso trade right now; that's another post for later. But you guys are smart--take a look at some players on the rosters of these teams, and think how close Arizona, Indy, and Dallas think they are, much like the Vikings in 2009 with Brett Favre. Now, add in the enticement of a Peterson contract that is team friendly, and all of a sudden, giving up a high pick and/or a good player doesn't seem nearly as far fetched as it did just a couple weeks ago.
2) It's not unreasonable to think a bidding war might break out for Peterson: Indianapolis, Dallas, and Arizona are three teams that have a Super Bowl window that's open or opening. Indianapolis has already traded a first round pick for a running back, and that blew up in their face. They can look at a Peterson trade as the missing ingredient that will get them over the hump. In Dallas, they put it all together thanks to an offense that centered around Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and DeMarco Murray. With Murray testing free agency, there's a chance that he might leave, and there wouldn't be a better player to bring in to replace Murray with than Peterson. With the Cardinals, they had issues at quarterback after Carson Palmer got hurt, but let's face it, a mostly anemic running game did as much to hurt them after Palmer got hurt as Ryan Lindley did.
It's not a stretch to think that each of these teams think Peterson is the 'one player' they are missing to get them over the hump, or to get them back into contention. And if there's any GM in the NFL I'd want driving this train in a three team horserace for the best running back in football, it's Rick Spielman.
3) Have these teams expressed an interest in Peterson, though?: Look, it's interesting to speculate where the Vikings might trade AP, and for who/what. But if you read that Robinson story, this comes across as teams AP would entertain being traded to...and it says nothing that there is mutual interest from one, two, or any of these teams. Just because Peterson would be willing to re-structure his contract to facilitate a trade, that doesn't mean one is imminent. It takes two to tango, and there's a decent chance that the Vikings might just decide to pay his full contract and bring him back into the fold.
This act is far from over, and this is just the latest in a series of moves and counter moves. Stay tuned.