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March 9th, 2017 marks the beginning of this year’s NFL Free Agency period, but you might as well know it as December 25th in terms of how NFL fans treat it. People near and far are hoping for Player X to be wrapped and waiting under their tree, but unfortunately for them I’m here to break the news that Santa Claus isn’t real, which in Dallas Cowboys circles means that Adrian Peterson isn’t a reality.
Yes, I’m talking about that Adrian Peterson. You know, the one who is currently 16th on the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rushing list (Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith is number one, baby) with just shy of 12,000 total yards. News trickled out on Tuesday that the only team Peterson has ever known, the Minnesota Vikings, will not be exercising his 2017 option which will make him a Free Agent.
As you can imagine, Cowboys fans immediately sent Peterson to the top of their proverbial Free Agent wish lists. AD – Adrian Peterson’s nickname is “All Day” which leads to this acronym versus the commonly used “AP” – and the Cowboys are like the high school sweethearts who just never had their timing work out. There was always something there, everyone knew it, but sometimes life gets in the way and you land a rookie sensation named Ezekiel Elliott who happens to lead the league in rushing.
Can you really pair that old would-be story with your new one, though? Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Jones thinks it’s possible to a degree obviously, but it isn’t truly practical. Adrian Peterson is leaving a contract that saw him paid as the game’s top running back as far as dollars per year are concerned, and there’s no way in any kind of salary cap world that this is manageable to squeeze in next to Ezekiel Elliott.
“Adrian Peterson Will Take Less Money To Play For The Cowboys, He Wants To Win A Championship”
Let’s get really hypothetical here for a second and say that Adrian Peterson was willing to become – this is an arbitrary point – the 10th highest paid running back in the NFL (who according to OverTheCap.com in 2016 was coincidentally Ezekiel Elliott). Now you’re talking about having two ball carriers who are paid like franchise players, when in reality you can’t use them effectively to the point to justify the investment. It’s bad math, science, and most importantly – business.
Coming back to reality and leaving Hypothetical Land… why would Adrian Peterson do this? Would you – in your job – willingly take less money? The argument made for this point is that Adrian Peterson has surely made “enough” money to live life comfortably for the foreseeable future, but I think I speak for all of us when I say that this argument is absurd. Adrian Peterson wants to win a championship, yes, but he doesn’t want to seriously compromise his financial security – a logical perspective – in order to do so.
Adrian Peterson Can Get Paid AND Compete… Somewhere Else
There are teams that were in the 2016 season’s playoffs – teams that won at least one playoff game – that are in need of a starting running back. You don’t think that Adrian Peterson has just as great of a shot at winning a Super Bowl in Seattle? Green Bay? Oakland? New England? Why on earth would he willingly saddle himself behind a second-year player when he can continue to be the AD we’ve all known for a decade while also getting paid more than he would as a Cowboy?
People point to the fact that Adrian Peterson has family in Dallas and is from the area. If this is the foundation that the pyramid of “Adrian Peterson should sign with the Dallas Cowboys” is built on, then we are in for a surprise of epically disastrous proportions. The notion of Adrian Peterson wearing a Star is a fun one to toss around with your friend, on Twitter, or in a Madden trade, but it just isn’t one that bears a whole lot of validity when it comes to things that actually happen in the NFL.