Adrian Peterson has posted a series of absurdly impressive workout videos this spring, box jumps with weight on his back and seven-mile treadmill routines. But despite putting those clips online—”to send a message to anyone interested that, Hey, you know, I’m out here, I’m working hard, I’m grinding, and I’m in great shape,” as Peterson explained on NFL Live Friday—they have not done enough to sway their intended audience. Coming off an injury shortened season in which Peterson suited up for two teams and averaged 3.4 yards per carry, but also had games with 134 and 159 rushing yards, he remains a free agent.
At 33, Peterson’s career could be ending in a manner similar to the greats that preceded him. When LaDainian Tomlinson retired just shy of his 33rd birthday, he explained that he hadn’t lost the desire to play, rather “it was simply time to move on.” When he was 33, Marshall Faulk underwent knee surgery and never played again, retiring a year later. This time nine years ago, it was a 32-year-old Shaun Alexander waiting for a call that never came.
As for who AP is hoping to hear from, in that same ESPN interview he listed the Texans, Packers, and Panthers among teams he could see himself playing for. He also mentioned Miami, as well as possibly fitting “down there in St. Louis … with Todd Gurley.” Moving past the anachronistic flub, the Rams would be an intriguing fit. Gurley finished third in the NFL in touches last year (behind Le’Veon Bell and LeSean McCoy), L.A. doesn’t have a proven backup, and the team has shown it’s willing to bring in big-name veterans. Another team to keep an eye on is Tampa Bay, where Jameis Winston has in the past said he’d like to play with Peterson. But for now, there’s no reason for a team to spend the money or roster spot to snag Peterson given the lack of demand for the aging superstar. It might take an injury in pre-season for Peterson to get an invite, if one ever comes.
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1. After drawing heated reactions following its introduction, the NFL’s new lowering-the-head rule quietly added ejection standards at last week’s league meetings. It has flown under the radar as new rules regarding the anthem and kickoffs have dominated headines, but we’re also now hearing from players who understand the need for change. “You can tell that the league is taking control of player safety, and that’s really big for players,” Steelers safety Morgan Burnett told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “You don’t want to see any guy get hurt or have any effects from this game once they leave the game. So I think that’s real big and very important, to make player safety first.”
2. 49ers defensve end Cassius Marsh did not hold back in describing his time with the New England Patriots last season. “They don’t have fun there. There’s nothing fun about it,” he said. “There’s nothing happy about it. I didn’t enjoy any of my time there, you know what I’m saying? It made me for the first time in my life think about not playing football because I hated it that much.”
3. Kate Hairopoulos profiled new Cowboys wideout Allen Hurns, from his mother’s harrowing story to his time in Jacksonville, where he cried after losses.
4. A second 49ers-related link: San Fran fans should check out Jerick McKinnon‘s 30-minute interview with Matt Maiocco. McKinnon talked about his background, his time in Minnesota and his early impressions of his new team, with a brief interlude to shout out Marietta, Georgia’s Big Chicken.
5. Turns out, Davante Adams played a big part in getting Jordy Nelson to Oakland, where he’ll catch passes from Adams’s college quarterback, Derek Carr. Back in Green Bay, it’s now up to the 25-year-old Adams to begin playing a leadership role as a top wideout.
6. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has thrown his support behind Republican incumbent Jeff Colyer in the state’s governor race, agreeing to join him at two events next week.
7. Giants equipment staffers who had been with the team for decades were reportedly surprised to learn they had been fired after being connected to the memorabilia lawsuit against Eli Manning. The suit was settled earlier this month.
8. Nice job by the Chicago Tribune to dig up its story from May 28, 1968, when George Halas retired as head coach after 39 seasons leading the team.
9. Kareem Copeland checked in with Robert Griffin III (and his purple braids), as the QB tries to make the most of his latest opportunity.
10. Following 12 seasons as a Jaguar, tight end Marcedes Lewis joined the Packers late last week.
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