Adrian Peterson’s suspension has yet to be appealed, but there is very little optimism that he’ll return to the Vikings this season, if ever. Today, Jerick McKinnon (back) and Matt Asiata (concussion) were both unable to practice.
All of that combined apparently caused the Vikings to evaluate outside options, one of which was former Texans and Browns running back Ben Tate. Tate was waived by the Browns yesterday after reports of his discontent with his role in Cleveland’s offense were widely distributed.
Tate was selected in the second round of the 2010 Draft by Houston with a pick the Vikings held (but traded away to move up and select Toby Gerhart). There, injuries and the emergence of Arian Foster limited his production, but he always seemed like a plenty capable spot starter. His first season in Cleveland obviously didn’t turn out as he had hoped, but at age 26 it seems there may be some value in this move.
He is currently playing under a two year deal worth a total of $6.2 million, but none of his 2015 salary is guaranteed and the Vikings could cut him with minimal (or no) impact to the salary cap depending on the timing. Tate’s best rushing season came as a rookie when he gained 942 yards (5.4 average) and four touchdowns, but perhaps even more interesting is that last season he caught 34 passes with Houston.
We now have a new running back to consider when predicting the future direction of this Vikings roster, but the short-term possibility that he could be active on Sunday is perhaps even more intriguing.
The Vikings released tight end MarQueis Gray in a corresponding move.