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Packers Should Explore a Veteran Back Like Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles

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Packers Should Explore a Veteran Back Like Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles

Should the Packers make a run at Adrian Peterson?

Should the Packers make a run at Adrian Peterson?

The Green Bay Packers have a lot of needs, like many NFL teams do at this time of year, but one thing they desperately need is a veteran running back.

With the release of James Starks, the free-agent departure of Eddie Lacy and the fact that Christine Michael is unsigned, the Packers basically have just Ty Montgomery back from last season.

There is no doubt Montgomery proved he is an NFL running back in 2016, with 77 carries for 457 yards (5.9) in the regular season and three touchdowns, along with 25 carries for 91 yards and two scores in the playoffs (3.64 YPC). But there should also be no doubt that he needs help and no, Aaron Ripkowski won’t do.

Certainly, the draft is deep at the position. And running back more than any others, lends itself to early contributors. Look at Starks, he was a sixth-round pick that ended up starting and winning a Super Bowl.

Say what you will about how well Aaron Rodgers played during that run, but without Starks, Green Bay probably doesn’t win it all. The point is, you can find a running back in the draft. But can you find two?

Between Montgomery and Ripkowski, the Packers top two returning rushers, there was a combined 111 carries last season. Obviously, the two will get more work this year, but adding just a rookie or two to that mix seems a little dangerous.

Besides, how much would it really hurt to take a chance on a guy like Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles? Both players were cut by their former teams and therefore, wouldn’t count against the Packers in terms of compensatory pics.

Both players are aging and coming off injury-riddled seasons, but both would come in playing second fiddle to Montgomery, who is the starter until he or someone else proves otherwise. Even bringing back Starks, if he is healthy, for the veteran minimum isn’t a horrible idea or heck even Michael. At least it would be another legit competitor.

A veteran running back isn’t going to cost much and the Packers have more than enough cap space to get a deal done. Adding a guy like Charles or Peterson simply makes too much sense.

Sure, Green Bay would still add a back in the draft, but maybe it would allow the Packers to spend another early-round selection addressing the defense or finding a starting guard.

With Thompson, it’s probably wishful thinking. But with so much uncertainty, signing one veteran running back seems like a smart thing to do.


Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (65) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Horse's picture

Can we please get over Adrian Peterson? He fumbles in critical situations. Thank you in advance.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

He has also dominated in critical situations.

You're welcome in advance.

Horse's picture

Go check his game film & stats against Green Bay the past few years.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

So he only played 2 games a year?

Got it. Thanks for contributing.

Horse's picture

Weak deflection. Same Pack fans who rail constantly about how the D sucks tend to overlook it when it's All Day against the Packers. If Green Bay can stop him, so can lots of other teams. All Day's day of dominating is done.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Weak deflection? That's funny. You made a braindead point and got called out.

You based your reasoning for not taking AP on fumbles in 2 games a year. Now, after losing on that hilarious point, you want to look at other things. That's REAL deflectiin.

But by all means, keep posting. Good for laughs. Just try and stay on your first point, 'kay?

keeley2's picture

Andrew - Stop being such a prick, ok?

carusotrap's picture

Nor can he block or catch.

slit's picture

JC - sure, on a 1-year deal
AP - hell no, please stop

pooch's picture

Reason why everyone is passing on AP?

slit's picture

He's averaged 1.9yd/run out of the shotgun the last 2 years. The Packers have ran over 50% of their plays out of the shotgun the last 2 years.

AP has never been good in pass protection.

He beat his kid's scrotum, with a stick, to the point where it turned black from bruising.

Anything else?

keeley2's picture

All Day:
* Not a "team" guy
* Not a "community" guy
* To this day doesn't think he did anything wrong in disciplining his child.
* Not a "character" guy
*Thinks he's worth way too much money
*Can't (won't ?) block
*Suspect hands - doesn't play 3rd and long at all.

Lphill's picture

Can they tackle or defend passes? Kevin Minter would have been a nice addition to the defense but the Bengals got him for one year.

MITM's picture

I would have been on board with Minter too just because he is at the very least an improvement over Thomas against the run on those first 2 downs. But you see way more Cardinals games than anyone here so its worth just taking your word for it. Then again, you did tell me Bucannon has played safety for the Cardinals even though he has literally NEVER taken a single snap at safety in Arizona.

Since '61's picture

Jamaal Charles maybe, depending oh his health. As I mentioned in another post earlier this week, as a player AP is done and as a man even less, no way. I would be extremely upset and disappointed with the Packers if they signed AP for any amount of money for any length of time. He should never have been allowed back in the league after his child beating arrest. In any case, I have no problem with bringing in fresh legs. We can draft an RB and as usual add depth with an UDFA. I disagree that a veteran RB is a desperate need. Draft an RB like Ezekiel Eliott and who needs a veteran. Gale Sayers wasn't a veteran when he literally ran through the entire league in his rookie season. Sorry Chris I appreciate the efforts of the contributors here but the premise of this article and the thought of signing AP was not very well thought out. I admit that my comments are somewhat biased due to my abhorrence of AP. He is not needed or wanted. Thanks, Since '61

4zone's picture

Not going to get ZekevPart 2 at 29 or any pick thereafter. Would settle for another Bennett or Levans though.

Since '61's picture

4zone - Yes! I was a big fan of Dorsey Levans. Solid tough runner who was able to block and a good receiver. Edgar Bennett another solid choice as well. Pair an RB like either of them with Monty and our running game is vastly improved and the offense could be unstoppable. Thanks, Since '61

Flow49's picture

You might not be able to get a Zeke at 29, but you can get a LeVeon Bell at the end of the first or into the 2nd

MITM's picture

Im a big fan of the kid from BYU in the later rounds.

ironman3169's picture

Why the heck do you always make sense? That said, I see no point sinking any money in an aging running back. Charles is unlikely to accept the veteran minimum, so I've got to say use the draft.

Nick Perry's picture

I'd love Charles to play in GB but his knees have been shredded. If he could be signed on the cheap, cheap, cheap side without any or much guaranteed it's worth a shot.
I can't get over the fact Peterson whipped his kid in the most private of parts with a tree branch. Hell I can't get over he whipped his kid...PERIOD!!! Signing Peterson means there is no such thing as "Packer People" anymore.
I'd be open to Michael. He makes the most sense at this point. Bring him in from the start and maybe he learns the nuances of the Packers offense.

Bert's picture

Good summary Nick. I agree with your assessment. No more "Packer People" if we sign AP unless we are saying "Packer People" and POS are synonymous.

4thand1's picture

Michael seems to be a guy who just doesn't "get it" when it comes to picking up offenses. He has skills but is as dumb as a box of rocks? Hell ,he was Seattle's leading rusher and they cut him. AP no, Charles, maybe if the price is right. I think the league is so pass happy, that teams are willing to give up a few extra rushing yards instead of big plays down field. A power running game is a thing of the past. Just look at the premier defensive positions, CB, OLB, S, DE. Its either get to the QB or cover. On offense its QB, T, WR TE and a running back who can block.

Gforcetrivers's picture

I do not want him on our team. He is an idiot and besides that last year he sucked.

Gforcetrivers's picture

Peterson's nickname is AD not AP

OrganLeroy's picture

Actually his dad gave him that nickname because when he worked as a kid, he went all day without any rest. It carried over to Oklahoma once he started pounding defenses.

4zone's picture

We don't need a vet. Can make do with a 2nd or 3rd rounder and an UDFA. Not so worried there as NT and CB.

Since '61's picture

Correct again! Thanks, Since '61

JacFrost's picture

Why would we want to do this. Whats this experience crap? There are a ton of good backs in the draft and we have none if you consider Montgomery is not really a back. He plays back but he's is not the answer in the NFL.
Great time to start fresh with a couple of new legs and build from there. Why keep trying to patch holes with temp people?

Tarynfor12's picture

Many times I've been told I'm not a Packer fan because my view points of a players ability and I remained one still. Signing Peterson would have me leave the fan base for two reasons.
1) He is a total piece of crap as child abusers always are.
2) This piece of crap doesn't play defense and our SB contention and participation depends on our defensive growth, which at this moment compared to last season (s) has not done so.

The only thing that stays the everything changes.
Perhaps the Packers defense will disprove this theory via its unchanging commitment to failing.

NMPF's picture

Signing Peterson would have you leave the fan base? Was a no way on AP. Now not so sure.

akeemthedream's picture

If they're going to get a FA, get Mike Gillislee. He'd cost them their r5 pick, but that's where they'd be looking at drafting an rb anyhow.

Otherwise draft Aaron Jones.

blue eyes's picture

Well if we sign AP i'll save 90 bucks a month when i cancel my cable. That's about the only positive i can get out of it.

worztik's picture

We don't need Peterson or Charles... we should never run the ball; only throw the "bomb"! Bombs are fun; running is hard! We don't like hard; we love fun! Girls are fun; work is hard! I like girls; I don't like work! Football is fun; reading some posts here are like work! Thank you all, since yesterday.

Seth Borden's picture

A running back could be the second coming of Barry Sanders with the ball in his hands -- the if he can't pass block, he is useless (or worse) to our offense.

worztik's picture


Dzehren's picture

Pedersen & charles are past there prime & injury prone. Resign Michael for league minimum for a camp body. Draft a RB in round 2-5 & bring in 2 UDFA's for competition.
Monty-RIP-Michael-DJackson Draft pick 2 UDFA's

Rossonero's picture

No to both RBs. There's a reason why both are available - injury history, age and salary demands. The draft is rich with RBs. We can can find a starter in the 4th or 5th round. Save the money for 2018 when Burnett, Clinton-Dix, Adams, Linsley and Lane Taylor will be FAs.

Spock's picture

Well, I got quite a few dislikes commenting on my opinion on another article that these articles on aging "name" players are just too, well, lame. This one is even worse as AD or AP (whichever you prefer) is not only way past his prime but also a POS. I know it is 'traditional' this time of year to throw out these kind of articles, but let's be real here. TT has already signed more than his usual free agents. His M.O. is to make the team younger, not older. I doubt that the run is going to be emphasized much this year. MM was a TE when he played and I'm guessing that two TE's who can BLOCK as well as stretch the field makes RB even less of a need. RB's are the one position where a rookie can contribute right away; one will be drafted somewhere this year, but it's not a big need IMO. All this speculation may be fun for some, but to me this is just the Silly Season of football articles every year. If you must put forth a possible Packer FA pickup it needs to be more real than this. That's my opinion, which is what these websites are for. Sorry about the long post.

Chris Peterson's picture

The reason I chose those guys or Starks or Michael, is that I don't think Ted will sign anyone that might cost him a compensatory draft pick. Peterson and Charles wouldn't because they were cut. Starks and Michael wouldn't either because they were obviously with the Packers last season. I think a vet would be helpful but only seeing it being someone like that because no other good backs have been cut, they are unrestricted free agents which makes the Packers less likely to sign them.

tm_inter's picture

The Packers have no need for Peterson or Charles, who are both over the hill. Better option is find RBs from the draft or UDFAs.

ben's picture

Adrian Peterson will win a superbowl with the Patriots this year. The packers and you idiots will do what you do every year.

4thand1's picture

How many SB's did he win with your viqueens? Oh yeah, he fumbled twice inside the 10 and they lost the NFCCG, then went home and beat the shit outa his kid.

Rossonero's picture

Yes, the Packers will do what they do as usual -- win the division and beat the Queens. Your team is in disarray and you know it. Nice try.

Since '61's picture

And your Vikings will be irrelevant again as they have been since about 1970 when they lost to the Chiefs to establish their 60 year history of losing and futility. Maybe you can let us know when they return to the NFL. Thanks, Since '61

lobo91460's picture

The Viqueens are the NFC version of the BILLS!!
Boy I Love Losing Superbowls!!

ben's picture

Kenny clark, over-rated. Defensive line, nothing special. Ryan and thomas, over-rated, mlb, nothing special. House is a good signing, but Corner, nothing special. Safety, dix may be the most overRated player in the league, nothing special.

A zone-blitz heavy scheme is suicide. Capers is terrible. MM sucks as a play caller. Packers 2017-18 season, nothing special.

While bill belichek will have gotten stephen gilmore, ron gronkowski, brandon cooks, & adian peterson to play with.


Michael.Valley77's picture

I don't like the idea of signing either one. IMO the better option would be drafting the likes of Jamaal Williams (BYU) or James Connor (Pitt). They would be a big body complement to Ty. After that, I think that there will be a few "diamonds in the rough" RBs as UDFA this year.

MITM's picture

Agreed. Would prefer Williams to Conner though.

slit's picture

Jamaal Williams. Yes, please.

MITM's picture

Chris, are you related to Adrian?

sctmlmn's picture

i agree about charles and peterson but peterson could be worth a gamble think what he could do for the offense pull the safties closer so passing games has more options

Spock's picture

sctmlmn, Peterson is not scaring anyone anymore (except maybe his son). Also he wants to be P-A-I-D. Forget about it. Bad idea.

Spock's picture

Here's an idea for CHTV writers: instead of putting forth the usual "names" article, how about speculating on what players may be cut after the draft (I said speculate as we have no idea how the draft will go) that would be a possible pickup for the Packers? At least it would be as valid a speculation as these articles and give us something more realistic to comment on. I suspect that TT is planning on using that $18 million (or whatever it is after the 6 mil is reserved for the rookie signings) to try and sign some of next years Packer FA to early contracts (Linsley, Davante Adams, Lane Taylor, Burnett, etc. and possibly re-doing his star QB's contract). If that is TT's plan (and he always is looking down the road) I don't expect a lot of money being thrown at veteran FA's this year. Just a thought. :)

stockholder's picture

We don't need him. He should take a hiatus for good. This offense is going to be the most explosive ever. The Te's are just a newer piece of dominance.

4thand1's picture

As rookies, RB is the easiest position to produce right out the gate. TT will draft one.

Couch Cleats's picture

There's another round of cuts coming after the draft. With all the depth at RB in this year's draft if makes sense to wait. If we get the RB we want great. If not, someone else will become available after all these rookie RB's get drafted. The position just isnt that important to the team we have right now. We're not the Cowboys with a bunch or road grader lineman built to run it. A back that no one has ever heard of that can catch and pass block will be far more effective for the Packers than an expensive retread with injury concerns.

Denise Chanterelle's picture

How about OJ if he gets out this October?

Matt Gonzales's picture

At least we'd be guaranteed a prime time flex spot every week.

Starks' magical postseason run didn't come as a vet. Nor did Lacy's 2 best seasons. Ditto Zeke leading the league rushing. The biggish young fast pass catching RB is the new prototype. NE now has three pass catching specialists at RB and will likely resign , release, and then resign Blount again (or a similar no name RB) for short yardage and late game pounding. Everyone says we should emulate NE - I guess we should get Fred Jackson or Reggie Bush out of retirement?

Seriously, though, Ty and (if resigned) CM are our veteran running backs. Rip has shown his ability to play short yardage football, and Janis and Davis both have the speed for end arounds and sweeps. RB is one position where only the draft can make it stronger.

Packadutt's picture

Rumor has it from that Lagarette Blount is signing 1 year deal with Packers. If true....good ...positive step.....

Spock's picture

Packadutt, that's surprising if true. Can you supply a link?

Spock's picture

edit, sorry I didn't catch the source you gave in your post, I will check this out. Thanks.

marpag1's picture

Bring in Adrian Peterson? Ouch.

But this is the conversation that occurs when your featured running back proves to be more interested in the KFC Championship than he is in the NFC Championship.

porupack's picture

haha...good one

jww061356's picture

Peterson is a one dimensional throwback that is of no use on passing downs either as a receiver or a blocker. Friend of mine that is a pretty sharp Viking fan told me that when Teddy and Adrian played together, you could see Teddy telling Adrian where to stand after the huddle broke. His point.....a young QB shouldn't have to tell a veteran RB where to stand and what to do like a rookie. His point is Adrian is not very smart or at the very least very motivated to learn the intricacies of an offense. I think this would only be truer in a sophisticated offense like Green Bays. He also doesn't like running out of the shotgun and would have to come off the field in no huddle. It's o.k. to kick the tires on Charles and see if he has anything left, but keep Peterson out of Green Bay.

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"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
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