The Vikings are due to meet with agents of running back Peterson and defensive back Newman to decide how “to assess what the two sides will do going forward.”
The Vikings hold a 2017 option for Peterson and Newman is an unrestricted free agent this year. He has been solid for the past two seasons for the Vikings but the real star on display that they will want to try and lock down is Peterson.
The option that they could take up for Peterson will give them an $18 million cap hit and as a result many pundits have reported that it is pretty much a certainty that the Vikings will need to restructure for Peterson to return next year.
He is one of the all time greats but will be 32 years old next season and played just three games last year as he was kept out much of the season with an injury. In 2015 he led the league in rushing and in 2012 he rushed for more than 2,000 yards coming off a serious knee injury at the time.
He is a seven time Pro Bowler, 2012 MVP and four time member of the First Team All-Pro. Despite all this he averaged just 1.9 yards per carry in the limited action he had in 2016. That is why it is pretty much inevitable that the Vikings will not take up the option for 2017 as it would be too much of a gamble. They will look to restructure to reduce the hit they could end up taking if it doesn’t work out again next year.
Running backs tend to slow down in their early thirties and there have been just 25 running backs in NFL history who have gained 1,000 yards in a season at the age of 30.
On the other hand, Newman has been consistent over the last two seasons and has only missed one game for the Vikings in that time frame. He is 38 years old but could be seen as veteran leadership in the team for at least one more season if he is open to taking what the Vikings offer him this offseason.