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Latavius Murray: “I’m not here to replace” Adrian Peterson

The new Vikings running back explains why he won’t wear his usual #28 in Minnesota.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos
Murray understands that he’s here to be his own player, not Adrian Peterson’s replacement.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

While most of you were sleeping in the wee hours of Wednesday night/Thursday morning, the Minnesota Vikings finalized a deal with former Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray. According to Ian Rapoport, the deal is for three years and roughly $15 million. That’s a very reasonable price for a starting-caliber running back, especially when you throw in this team-friendly detail from Ben Goessling:

Goessling also added that $3.4 million of Murray’s salary is guaranteed. The Vikings now have a fairly dynamic backfield with Murray and Jerick McKinnon. Of course, the move all but guarantees the end of Adrian Peterson’s tenure in Minnesota. Murray has worn the number 28 for the vast majority of his football career; however, we already know that won’t be what he wears with the Vikings.

Murray took to Instagram on Thursday morning with a picture of Murray and Peterson from the Pro Bowl explaining why he won’t don the same jersey number in Minnesota.

Here is the full text of Murray’s post:

There wasn't a thought in my mind to try and wear or ask for the #28. I have too much respect for AP and so much respect for what he's done and what he means to this organization. Many people don't know, but I wore the #28 as a kid because of Fred Taylor who played for the Jaguars at the time. When AP came onto the scene and Fred retired, he was my reason for keeping #28. I want to say to Vikings fans: I'm not here to replace #28, he's irreplaceable. I'm not here to be #28, there's no one like him. I ask that you accept me for the player I am and know that I'm here to give you all I got and to win #skol

Exactly how Murray will fit into Pat Shurmur’s offense with McKinnon remains to be seen, but this was an excellent way for him to start his career with the Vikings. Murray recognizes that Peterson is a Vikings legend and wants to make his own mark with the team going forward.