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|A midseason trade would give Adrian Peterson ample time to learn a new system heading into 2014.|
As the NFL's trading deadline -- Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. ET -- approaches, we explore five explosive, albeit unlikely, possible deals.
Vikings trade running back Adrian Peterson to Giants for defensive end Justin Tuck, running back David Wilson and their 2014 second- and fifth-round picks
This is strictly about next year for the Giants -- and the future for the Vikings.
Monday night's game clearly showed 2013 is already in the rearview mirror for these teams.
Newly signed running back Peyton Hillis can take a team only so far. Ahmad Bradshaw is gone. So is Brandon Jacobs; wait, he's back, but he certainly is not the long-term solution. Ditto for 2012 first-round draft choice Wilson, who has had difficulty holding onto the ball and a standing reservation in coach Tom Coughlin's doghouse. A new venue might be just the thing for him, along with Tuck, who's in the final year of his contract.
Looking ahead to the 2014 season, the Giants go for the gusto, pairing Eli Manning and Peterson in their primes for a run at the Super Bowl -- and three rings for the youngest Manning brother.
Since this season is already lost for the Giants, there's no need to tax Peterson with a heavy workload. Think about aiming at next year and the wonderful draft possibilities for a horrific team. Even if the Jaguars secure the No. 1 overall pick, they're likely to take a quarterback -- very possibly Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. It isn't unreasonable to think that South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney could be wearing a Giants jersey next season for a team that won two Super Bowls with ferocious defensive line play. That would be a step toward renewing the team's critical core, the defensive and offensive lines.
Peterson, who has gained more than 9,000 yards in six-plus seasons, seems to be indestructible after returning from ACL surgery and posting 2,097 yards a year ago. He may not break Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing record of 18,355 yards as he hopes, but he's still only 28 and capable of three or four more dominant seasons.
The Vikings, with four defensive line players -- Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Everson Griffen and Fred Evans -- due to hit free agency after the season, could use some help on defense. The team could kick the tires on Tuck to see if he's worth re-signing, and those two extra picks could be used on a linebacker and a reliable corner.
Without Peterson, the Vikings offense would be a mess this year (hello, Josh Freeman), which would mean a high first-round pick and a shot at a quarterback such as Marcus Mariota of Oregon or Clemson's Tajh Boyd. There are already some credible targets on the roster: Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph.
The sticking point would be the seven-year contract extension potentially worth $100 million that Peterson signed two years ago. Perhaps the opportunity to win a championship with a proven franchise would motivate Peterson to redo his deal.