With Matt Asiata and Adrian Peterson probably not returning, the Minnesota Vikings are in need of a running back or two.
Free agent running back Eddie Lacy is in need of a team, so he's in town for a visit:
Eddie Lacy arrives Saturday night in Minnesota for his visit with the Vikings. He declined comment. pic.twitter.com/qcQczZSZSu— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 12, 2017
As for Peterson? He's on his way to visit Seattle. Because as we know, federal law mandates that any former Viking must, at some point, play for the Seahawks:
Seahawks are being very diligent on OL/RB. TJ Lang and Eddie Lacy visited. Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Latavius Murray scheduled too— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 12, 2017
I'll be honest with you regarding the Vikings running back situation. If you had put the names of Peterson, Lacy, Murray, and Charles on a piece of paper and told me to rank order which one of them had the best chance to go to the Vikings, Lacy would have been 4th. But when I put my anti-Packers bias aside (and I seriously hate having to do that whenever the Vikings sign an ex-Packer), other than Peterson Lacy might be the best back for this offense.
He's a big dude, (must...refrain...from...joke) can get tough yards between the tackles, and would compliment Jerick McKinnon very well. Lacy, McKinnon, and either C.J. Ham or draft pick is a backfield I could roll with if I'm a Vikings fan, assuming Lacy is healthy and hasn't spent the off-season mooonlighting as the 'before' model in all those before and after workout photos.
And finally...Cordarrelle Patterson.
If seemed like Patterson was 99.9% out the door when free agency began, and of all the in house free agents the Vikings had to work with, Patterson and Captain Munnerlyn were the two I wanted back the most. When Munnerlyn re-signed with the Panthers yesterday, it felt like it was just a matter of hours before both were gone.
But after visiting the Bears, Patterson apparently started a social media campaign to try and convince the Vikings to re-sign him, mostly via Snap Chat. Look, I have a tough enough time with Facebook and Twitter, and I am just flat out ignorant about Snap Chat. I'll let Ben Goessling, ESPN's Vikings beat reporter, summarize better than I could:
Patterson posted a series of messages on his Snapchat account, which we'll sum up thusly: "All I am hearing is stay w/Vikings. Trust me I want to. We all know business is business. What you gone do Rick?" (There were a few extra words not suitable for a family audience, but if you're curious enough about them, you can find Patterson's account easily enough.)
Patterson is a guy I'd like to see back, for a couple reasons. He's the best kick returner in the NFL, for one, and although he's still really raw as a receiver, he made strides last year and really looked to have finally bought in to what Mike Zimmer is selling. I would love to see him get an opportunity to see the field more in a Pat Shurmur offense.
This Patterson news is a pretty incredible turn of events. If...and these are big ifs...if Patterson returns, and the Vikings sign Lacy, I would think most Vikings fans frustrated with a perceived lack of activity for the Vikings would suddenly feel differently.
Or, being Vikings fans, they probably wouldn't, and would still feel like the sky is falling. Your call.
Either way, free agency really seems to be heating up for the Vikings, and although they signed two offensive linemen, they don't look to be finished by a long shot. And we'll keep you posted as things develop.