USA TODAY Sports' Tom Pelissero looks at what the future could hold for Peterson and Cousins.
With Adrian Peterson set to hit free agency after the Minnesota Vikings declined to pick up his contract option Tuesday, a world of possibility opened for the running back and 31 other teams.
Here's a closer look at six teams that could be sensible landing spots for the four-time all-pro:
Yes, he could wind up back with Minnesota. But that would be at a reduced salary — paying Peterson $18 million was never a consideration. But both he and the Vikings have stated their desire for a reunion, though both sides might be ready to move on if an agreeable price can't be reached.
Green Bay Packers
However unlikely it might seem, this would be the Brett Favre “payback” route in reverse. The Packers sorely need a running game (Eddie Lacy is set to be a free agent) and, boy, this would sure be an interesting story line.
New York Giants
They are another team that sorely needs a running game to complement a potent passing attack, as New York ranked 29th in rushing last season. Peterson tweeted earlier this offseason season that he noticed what the Giants were doing when they released RB Rashard Jennings.
If they lose Latavius Murray in free agency, Peterson could be a great fit for a team that could have been a legitimate Super Bowl contender last season if not for a Week 16 injury to QB Derek Carr.
The Minnesota Vikings will not exercise Peterson's 2017 option.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Peterson mentioned the Bucs as a potential team of interest in January, and they should have ample cap space to spend. There's also a potential opening, as Jacquizz Rodgers is set to become a free agent and Doug Martin could be in flux with a four-game suspension ahead.
Peterson also cited them as a potential landing spot last month, but the reasoning here — beyond the appeal of returning to Texas — is puzzling. Lamar Miller is only 25 and is established as the workhorse after signing a four-year, $26 million contract just last March. The Texans' uncertainty at quarterback would seem to be an additional deterrent.
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