Someone close to Adrian Peterson informed the Boston Herald recently that the veteran running back would consider taking a "Patriots-friendly contract" in order to join the reigning Super Bowl champions.
The thinking is that because Peterson has made close to $100 million over the course of his career, he'd be willing to take a reduced salary for a shot at a ring.
The question is how reduced?
Peterson had an $18 million option for 2017 next seasonthat was not exercised by the Vikings this offseason. Would he be willing to play for half of that ? A third? If he wants to link up with Bill Belichick, the answer to both of those would have to be an emphatic "less."
Even if Peterson would be willing to play at a price that the Patriots would find suitable, and even if the Patriots are in need of a powerful runner should they lose LeGarrette Blount to free agency, the former league MVP doesn't feel like a fit in New England.
Durability concerns: Peterson is almost 32, and even though he's long been considered a physical specimen, he's at an age where things can go south very quickly for those who play his position. He was the NFL's leading rusher in 2015, but he missed almost all of last season with a knee injury, and his hard-charging style will make him an injury risk wherever he lands in 2017.
Workload expectations: With the Patriots, Peterson would slide into a multi-pronged running attack that he's not necessarily accustomed to. Perhaps he'll be willing to fade into the background occasionally in order to play alongside Tom Brady, but the opportunities for him to carry 20 times in a game will be few and far between. After Brady returned from his four-game suspension, Blount cracked the 20-carry mark just three times in 12 chances. He averaged fewer than 12 carries per game in New England's three postseason games. Will Peterson grin and bear it when Brady's asked to throw 50 times a game? Will he be OK sharing work with James White and Dion Lewis?
Ball-handling issues: In some ways, Peterson is exactly what the Patriots like in a running back. He can create running room on his own by running over or around would-be tacklers. When he last won the rushing title in 2015, he forced more missed tackles than anyone else in the league other than Doug Martin, according to Pro Football Focus. There's real value in that, and the Patriots know it. However, Peterson's running style has lent itself to some ball-handling issues. He's coughed up the football 39 times over the course of his 10-year career, and in the passing game he's developed a reputation for drops. Both of those things tend to lose players playing time under Belichick. As they say at Gillette Stadium, ball-security is job-security.
Off-the-field baggage: Peterson played in just one game in 2014 as he dealt with child-abuse charges stemming from an incident involving his four-year-old son. The Patriots have been willing to give players second chances in the past -- look no further than their acquisition of Michael Floyd off of waivers last season -- but the decision-makers at One Patriot Place may determine that Peterson's abilities at this stage of his career may not match up with the headache his signing would incur.
Peterson is not all that far removed from an All-Pro campaign in 2015, but unless he's willing to accept a role (and a salary) that is far less than what he's used to, he doesn't seem like a fit for the Patriots offense.