Ryan Kennedy-Pats Militia
After coming out of the 2016 being Super Bowl Champions, I would say there isn’t much the Patriots need to change to be a top contender again next year. Yes we may have some free agent players to worry about this offseason, but I see the team being pretty much the same if not even better next year in terms of talent.
However, in New England there is always room for improvement, and there is always a player available that can somehow make us even better. Throughout the Patriots Super Bowl era, we have never really seen an elite top Running Back. Over the last 15 seasons we have always seen Tom Brady turning typical no name receivers into all-stars, but we have never had an elite RB rushing for consistent 100+ yard games. Having a RB like AP would be very difficult for defenses to prepare for and play against. Week to week teams would have to prepare for the best QB ever to pass the ball to great receivers, but now have to worry about one of the best RBs in the last 10 years running it. Having a top RB will really open up the offense in a way we have not seen yet.
Yes as of now we have Dion Lewis, James White, and LeGarrette Blount, who are all outstanding football players who have found big roles on the Pats. However, as we have seen James White and Dion Lewis are mostly receiving running backs, yes they do some runs but its extremely rare for either of them to have over a 100+ yard rushing game. 30 year old LeGarrette Blount had a great season rushing for a league high 18 TDs, but in all honesty, teams do not view him as much of a threat, mostly because he only averages 3.9 Yds a carry. Yes he is an amazing powerhouse of a running back, but I wouldn’t put him on Adrian Peterson’s caliber.
People may look at Adrian Peterson and think that he is washed up, old, and injury prone but I say why not give him a shot. His last full season 2015, he averaged 93 rushing yards per game, lead the league in rushing yards (1,485), and was tied for the most rushing TDs (11), So I believe he has at least another 1-2 great seasons in him, if he can stay healthy.
Chances are Minnesota will not re-sign Peterson at his $11.75 million base salary after a huge injury that put AP out of action for most of the 2016 season. If Peterson does not take a pay cut, his time in Purple may be out.
This would not be the first time the Patriots have brought in a veteran player in on a 1-year contracr to fill in a role as we have seen with Randy Moss and Darrelle Revis. Peterson still gloats about playing with legend quarterback Brett Favre in Minnesota. Playing with the best quarterback ever on a Super Bowl winning team may be very appealing to Peterson, so he can finally get a ring he deserves. I am not saying that this is going to happen or even very likely too, I am just showing how he could really make a difference here in New England.