The 2013 NFL trade deadline, October 29th, is quickly approaching. Which means it’s the time of year that trade rumors and possibilities are thrown around. Some are logical and some are not. One big name that is being thrown around is Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson. Ya know, the guy that came within in 9-yards of breaking the NFL single-season rushing record last season.
At first glance the possibility of a trade seems, to put it lightly, insane. But if you really examine the situation that the Vikings are in, it’s really not that crazy of an idea. The Vikings find themselves in a tough, pass-happy NFC North with the Lions, Bears, and Packers. To broaden things a bit more, they find themselves in a pass-happy NFL.
I understand that A.P. is undoubtedly the best running back in the game today, but can a franchise truly expect him to carry them to the Super Bowl? I don’t think so. Not when you have passers going over 4,500 yards on a regular basis. That’s not a knock to Peterson’s abilities, though. It’s just a fact. The NFL is no longer a ground and pound league. Don’t get me wrong, run-heavy teams can be successful, but they need a capable quarterback that can throw the ball in play-action situations and convert on big third down plays. I say capable because the person doesn’t even have to be great or elite. He just needs to be capable.
Until the Vikings can get steady play from their QB, whoever it may be, they will continue to struggle. Christian Ponder isn’t the answer, nor is Matt Cassel. Is Josh Freeman the answer? I don’t think so. He had solid play-makers in Tampa Bay and, besides his 2010 campaign, still struggled. He simply throws too many interceptions. If the Minnesota quarterbacks continue to perform below-average, then opposing defenses will continue to stack the box against the Vikings to stop their run game. At this point, it has become evident that the Vikings are all but out of the playoff race in the NFC North. Should they cut their losses and move Peterson while he still has relatively high trade value? I think so.
It’s well-known that running backs often see their abilities drop off quicker than others do. Peterson, 28, is nearing the age of 30. Thirty is the age that running backs typically start to see a dip in their production. That means A.P. should have at least 2 or 3 good years left in the tank; 2 or 3 good years that would be better suited on a team with a legitimate chance at a Super Bowl. If Peterson ever gets the chance to win a ring again, it won’t be in a Vikings uniform.
This is the type of trade that would benefit everyone involved. The Vikings would get a high draft pick, maybe even two, to help construct a contender for the future. Peterson’s new team would obtain an absolute stud in the backfield. And, most importantly, Peterson would get a real chance at winning the Super Bowl. The only remaining question is, where would A.D. end up?