Here's Why Adrian Peterson Is Unsigned

Deion Sanders knows exactly why Adrian Peterson hasn’t signed with a new team yet: he doesn’t want to.

While that sounds like the sort of line that you might hear from one of your perpetually single friends (“I just don’t want to date right now!”), it actually makes a lot of sense.

Right now, Sanders argues, Peterson can either chase money or a Super Bowl ring, but not both. Sanders believes Peterson is trying (and failing) to have it both ways:

“You have a choice to make. Either you focus on winning and you put yourself in the line of a good team like Green Bay, which says 'I made it without you. I really don't need you. Now, you can help me get over the hump, but what is that hump worth? That hump is not worth ... $11 million.'
"So he has to make the decision: Do I take less money to fulfill my dream? Or do I try to go get that money and you can forgo my dream? That's the decision he's making. He's not on a team because he does not want to be on a team right now, not because they don't want him."

Offseason trends support Sanders’ theory

Good teams like Green Bay have spoken with Peterson, but so far he remains without a contract. That’s likely because his price tag is believed to be around $8 million for next season, which is absurdly high for a 32-year old running back who’s played one full season in the last four years.

Peterson remains a bad overall fit for the Packers, but on paper he could be interesting if he’s willing to play a supporting role. The Packers (and, I suspect, a lot of other teams) would not want to use him as a feature back, even if that’s what Peterson wants to be. The workhorse runner is an antiquated concept, and certainly not one that a team would pay top dollar for any more.

If Peterson decides that he’s fine with being a complementary piece for a contender, it’s likely someone would come calling. But to do so, he’d have to accept a much smaller salary. If he’s not prepared to do that, he may find himself involuntarily retired from the NFL.