There will be a new face in the Minnesota Vikings’ backfield in 2017.
Minnesota and free agent running back Latavius Murray have reached agreement on a three-year, $15 million deal that features $8.5 million guaranteed an a average annual salary of $5 million. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman announced the deal in an official statement from the team on Thursday.
With the signing of Murray to be the team’s main running back, legendary Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will be playing next season for another NFL team for the first time in his career. Spielman said that Peterson will always be a Viking, regardless of what jersey he happens to be wearing.
Murray, who wore the number 28 with the Oakland Raiders, posted on Instagram that he didn’t even consider trying, or asking the Vikings about wearing Peterson’s 28, citing his respect for Peterson a big reason why. Murray also let Vikings fans know he’s not here to replace Peterson:
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There wasn't a thought in my mind to try and wear or ask for the #28. I have too much respect for AP and so much respect for what he's done and what he means to this organization. Many people don't know, but I wore the #28 as a kid because of Fred Taylor who played for the Jaguars at the time. When AP came onto the scene and Fred retired, he was my reason for keeping #28. I want to say to Vikings fans: I'm not here to replace #28, he's irreplaceable. I'm not here to be #28, there's no one like him. I ask that you accept me for the player I am and know that I'm here to give you all I got and to win #skol
Matter of fact, it could make sense if Murray and Peterson swapped teams, with the Raiders now dealing with a glaring need for a running back to ease the burden on star quarterback Derek Carr. Taiwan Jones, DeAndre Washington, and Jalen Richard are currently Oakland’s running backs under contract for next year.
The 27-year-old Murray rushed for 788 yards on 195 attempts last season after a career year in 2015, reaching the end zone a total of 12 times.
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