The four-time All-Pro running back is set to count $18 million against the Vikings’ salary cap. Peterson will turn 32 before next season and is coming off a year in which a knee injury limited him to just three games.READ MORE: Gabby Petito Search: Authorities Combing Wyoming Wilderness For Missing Woman, Fiancé's Whereabouts Remain Unknown
Finding a trade partner for such a player would be next to impossible, meaning Minnesota could release Peterson. If he’s still on the roster March 11, the Vikings would owe him a $6 million bonus.
Peterson told ESPN on Thursday that if he becomes a free agent he would consider playing for Giants, his hometown Houston Texans or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, although he did add, “I’m just throwing random names out there.”
He said he would want to go to “a place where me and my family are comfortable” and he has “the opportunity to compete for a championship. That’s my main goal that I want to accomplish.”READ MORE: Teen Stabbed To Death After Dutchess County High School Football Game, Former Student Charged
The three-time rushing champ said he believes he still has “five more strong years, without a doubt.”
The Giants were ranked 29th in the NFL in rushing this past season. Top backs Rashad Jennings, Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen are all under contract for 2017, but that could change.
Jennings led the team with 593 yards, but he only averaged 3.3 yards per carry and will soon turn 32. The Giants could create an estimated $2.5 million in salary cap savings if they release him.
Vereen, too, could be a cap casualty. He missed 11 games in 2016 with a torn triceps. The Giants would free up $3.75 million if they severed ties with the third-down back.MORE NEWS: Man Accused Of Stealing FDNY Coat, Radio From Bronx Fire Station
Perkins was a rookie who showed flashes over the final month of the season. He figures to have a greater role in 2017.