Today, two of the NFL’s star running backs, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, and Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs, became available for free agency this offseason. Peterson’s contract option was not picked up by the Vikings, and Charles was released from the Cheifs. Both running backs are coming off seasons plagued with injury. Peterson is 31, and Charles is 30, making age a concern for both going forward. The Ravens are presumably in the market for a new game changing running back, and are known to take players who are near the end of their career to fill a vacancy on the roster. The Ravens could go after either of these running backs for the 2017, but each comes with his own risks for signing.
Adrian Peterson is a former NFL MVP, with just under 12,000 rushing yards since 2007. He was one of the best running backs in the league for years, but recently hasn’t been able to stay on the field. He was suspended in 2014, and in 2016 had a season ending injury in the beginning of the season after struggling early. Before the Vikings let go of Peterson, he was set to make $18 million next season. There is no way Ozzie Newsome would pay Peterson that much money, especially with the injury and production concerns going forward. If Peterson was to end up in Baltimore, he would have to be willing to take significantly less money, probably between $3 to $5 million. Without knowing how much gas Peterson has left in the tank, the Ravens will probably not try to sign him.
Jamaal Charles is also coming off of a season ravaged with injury, in fact, Charles has been dealing with injuries since 2015, which has held him off the field for an extended period of time. Charles was set to make $6 million next season with the Chiefs before they released him. Like Peterson, it is unlikely that the Ravens front office and Ozzie Newsome would be willing to shell out $6 million for a running back with uncertainty surrounding his future. Again, the only real amount of money any team would be willing to give Charles is $3 to $5 million, probably to a one year deal. It is very unlikely the Ravens will add Charles to the roster, with his prolonged injury for two seasons, it is impossible to know if he would even be able to stay healthy for the season.
Predictions and Thoughts
The Ravens are known for picking up players near the end of their careers, and using whatever they have left to contribute, but with these two players, however, I doubt that the Ravens will sign either Peterson or Charles. Both are at or over the thirty year old mark, and as running backs, that puts their future into question. Both these players have been workhorses for offenses in the past, but the Ravens cannot risk signing either with the injury and production concerns they both have. The Ravens need to find young blood in a running back, whether it be a running back like Terrance West or Kenneth Dixon already on the roster, or turning to the draft.