BOSTON (CBS) — It’s rare for a name as big as Adrian Peterson’s to be on the list of free agents. And so, appropriately, the soon-to-be-32-year-old running back is getting a lot of attention.
That includes speculation about a potential match in the Patriots and Peterson. Though it remains a long shot, NFL.com’s Don Banks said it’s certainly possible.
“I’m connecting dots here,” Banks said Tuesday on Toucher & Rich. “There are a lot of teams that make sense for him, and let’s not forget Houston, kind of a hometown locale for him. But I do think he’s at the point where it’s not about money. It’s about legacy, championships. It’s an old story by now, but players at that stage of their career … I think he’s going to at least try to get New England interested. I don’t know how interested the Patriots are in him. But I know he’s interested in the Patriots on some level.”
Banks said usage obviously plays a factor, but LeGarrette Blount’s 1,161-yard, 18-touchdown season in 2016 can serve as an example that running backs still get opportunities in Tom Brady’s offense.
“I think it makes some sense, connecting dots, that that’s a very Patriots-like move, and especially because he’s going to come at their price tag,” Banks said.
Rich asked Banks about whether Peterson’s history with child abuse would factor in to whether the Patriots would want him.
“I guess I’d be surprised if that still had enough of a stain on him that that would cancel out any possibility of him wearing the Flying Elvis logo,” Banks said. “I’d be surprised at that. I have not thought that that was going to be a major stumbling block. It’s far enough in the past, it kind of got dealt with, he kind of did his year in purgatory in the league’s eyes. If that is the road block, I would find it a little surprising because I think the league has largely moved on on that topic in terms of AP.”
The probability that LeGarrette Blount finds a new home via free agency also opens the door for Peterson.
“I do think he’s an attractive short-term option for them at the kind of deal that they’re notorious for, with that type of veteran who’s late in his career and wants to win,” Banks said. “The Corey Dillon example gets thrown out there a lot, obviously the Randy Moss [example]. But I do think it’s very comparable to a move we’ve seen before out of them, [like] the Chris Long deal this year.”
Listen to the full interview below: