Running backs Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles are hitting the free agency market.
It was announced Tuesday that the Vikings will not exercise Peterson’s contract option, while the Chiefs released Jamaal Charles.
While in their prime, one could make the case that they were the top backs in the league. When healthy, some might still make that case for Adrian Peterson. Here’s the thing, neither are in their prime anymore. In fact, both are now 30 years of age or older. In the NFL, once a running back reaches 30 years old they are believed to reach their shelf life. Both have proven to be injury prone, as Peterson is coming off a torn meniscus and Charles is coming off his second ACL surgery.
When discussing the intrigue of both Peterson and Charles, ESPN host Scott Van Pelt mentioned,
"“This doesn’t signal the end for either, but given that Peterson turns 32 in the spring and given the historical nugget that only ten times a player that old had a 1,000 yard rushing season, the market for the younger, better pass receiver in Charles might be higher, though he too is coming off yet another injury shortened season. There is no position in sports that is more a young mans’ position than running back.”"
It is expected that Adrian Peterson’s asking price may be too hefty for the Broncos, not to mention he would most likely have to split carries with C.J. Anderson. Don’t bet on Adrian Peterson playing in the blue and orange this upcoming season.
As for Jamaal Charles, why not take a flier on the Pro Bowl running back? With his recent injury history, Jamaal Charles does not need to play a bulk of the offensive snaps. Playing against the Broncos twice a year since 2008, Denver knows as much as anyone about what Charles is capable of. The Broncos offense desperately needs to improve. As previously mentioned, the offensive line needs to be addressed, but assuming it will be better this season, Charles would be a great addition to the stagnant offense in the Mile High City.
Now, let’s take a look at the draft options.