No sooner did embattled All Pro running back Adrian Peterson get reinstated by the league but the Raiders are reportedly in the mix to acquire him. Peterson has made it clear he wants out of Minnesota despite every mess he's been in being his own fault and the Vikings still sticking by him. According to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, he spoke with a couple different general managers who said the Raiders are one of three outside teams who have shown interest in acquiring him.
How likely is it to happen? Well, let's see.
This reminds me very much of the reported Greg Hardy interest -- also spread initially by someone who writes for Bleacher Report -- which said the Raiders were "in negotiations" with Hardy, who was convicted of domestic violence last year and had the case dismissed upon appeal. Hardy, like Peterson, was on the commissioner's exempt list most of last season.
In the instance of Hardy, Raiders owner Mark Davis came out firing within hours of the report that the Raiders absolutely have not been in any negotiations or even shown interest in Hardy. Later, Reggie McKenzie said any inquiries about Hardy were merely "information gathering", which could be all this was.
Davis and the Raiders organization are outspoken advocates against domestic violence and have a long partnership with the Biletnikoff Foundation for domestic violence prevention and treatment.
Peterson admitted to child abuse which included beating his 4-year-old son with a tree branch, sending him to the hospital with lacerations, including on the child's scrotum. All while stuffing leaves in the child's mouth. He initially spoke about the incident freely because he saw nothing wrong with what he considered 'discipline', claiming that's how his father disciplined him when he was young and he turned out ok. All except the whole 'child abuser' part, but that's another story.
In the eyes of the NFL, child abuse and domestic violence are the same. One would assume the Raiders would hold the same stance.
That aside for a moment, Peterson just two years ago was a 2000 yard rusher in the NFL. And he did it with Raiders new offensive coordinator, Bill Musgrave as his OC in Minnesota.
Peterson is now 30 years old, which is when most NFL running backs take a sharp turn downhill. He is also scheduled to make $12.75 million next season. He isn't a free agent. Any team that wishes to acquire him would have to trade for him and the Vikings have no real reason to cave to Peterson's trade demands.
Peterson has also expressed great desire to play for the Dallas Cowboys. That was his favorite team growing up in Texas and they just lost reigning 2000-yard rusher, DeMarco Murray, as a free agent. Dallas has been his most likely destination all along.
The Raiders were said to be in the mix for Murray as well though the frontrunners were always the Eagles or a return to Dallas. Clearly the Raiders are looking to add a big time running back. They still have enough cap money to sign him to his current contract, though it would take pretty much all of that available money when factoring in the rookie pool.
So, let's see, the Raiders would have to give up a draft pick -- which Reggie McKenzie doesn't like to do -- pay Peterson more than they were apparently willing to offer a younger DeMarco Murray to land him as a free agent, add the bad PR from the child abuse after being adamantly against such a signing with Greg Hardy, and all for a running back whose on the wrong side of 30.