If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seek a veteran running back, should Adrian Peterson be anywhere on their list?
In an attempt to spark the league’s 27th-ranked rushing attack in 2017, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted USC running back Ronald Jones in the second round of April’s draft. Now, Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders has speculated the Buccaneers could revisit their past interest in Adrian Peterson.
The Buccaneers were one of few teams with rumored interest in Peterson last offseason, after he was cut by the Minnesota Vikings and ultimately landed with the New Orleans Saints. After he was traded, Tampa Bay got a close look at Peterson in his Arizona Cardinals’ debut as he turned back the clock with 26 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
Peterson has professed that he is fully healthy after a neck injury ended his 2017 season early, and more recently he has posted workout videos on social media to provide visual evidence. But the results on field, with 3.4 yards per carry last year and missing 13 games with a knee injury in 2016, show that Peterson is exactly what he is-a 33-year old running back that has not defied the decline curve that comes on the wrong side of 30.
Other than Jones, the Buccaneers have Peyton Barber, Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers on their running back depth chart. Peterson would surely come cheap, but he has never offered the intangible value typically inherent in being a veteran and his all-around skill set has always been limited. Add the latter two points to his diminished production as a pure runner, and it’s hard to see a great fit for Peterson in Tampa Bay.
With their easy decision to cut Doug Martin, the Buccaneers already shed another diminished veteran running back this offseason. Adding Peterson would be an exercise in redundancy.