INDIANAPOLIS - The Giants will "take a look" at free-agent running back Adrian Peterson, according to Ben McAdoo, though it remains to be seen just how much of a look they'll actually take.
McAdoo put the future Hall of Fame running back in the same category as all the available free agents, during his short press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday morning. He didn't dismiss the idea of the Giants pursuing the soon-to-be-32-year-old, nor did he say they would. He just said the Giants will evaluate him and all their options.
"You know what? We'll go take a look at him," McAdoo said. "We'll evaluate him. We'll get a grade on anyone who's available and we'll make those decisions in terms of what's best for the Giants moving forward."
Speculation of Peterson joining the Giants has been rampant since January when the now-ex-Viking went on ESPN and sort of said the Giants were team he might look at in free agency. The speculation became crazed when he sent out a cryptic Tweet on Feb. 16 about the Giants "making some interesting moves."
Then on Tuesday the Vikings officially announced they would not be picking up their option on Peterson's contract, which will officially make him an unrestricted free agent on March 9. And on Wednesday morning, SI.com's Peter King wrote "I hear the Giants are interested" in Peterson, though he didn't report anything more than that.
Whether they really are interested, and how much, remains unclear - especially since Giants GM Jerry Reese is refusing to speak to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine this week. The Giants do seem prepared to go into next season with Paul Perkins as their starting running back now that they've released veteran Rashad Jennings.
On Wednesday morning, McAdoo praised the 22-year-old Perkins, who finished last season with 456 yards on 112 carries, and he said he expects the second-year pro to improve this season.
"You know, Paul's a lot like the rest of the rookies," McAdoo said. "I think it's important when these rookies get back to New York that they understand they don't have everything figured out. We need to keep our thumb on those guys and they need to grow and they need to get better. … He needs to get better, like the rest of them. Even if it's marginally in each area of his game, we need to make gains there."
Of course, it might help Perkins to learn from Peterson, who was limited to just three games and 72 rushing yards last season because of knee surgery. And McAdoo said the Giants would be interested in adding a veteran back to share the load with Perkins "If it fits. If it's clean."
There are legitimate questions about whether Peterson is the right fit for the type of offense the Giants run. There are other issues too, such as his health and age and the potential expensive salary he might command. And then there's his history with domestic violence, which includes missing almost all of the 2014 season after being charged with beating his 4-year-old son with a stick.
That could be a tough thing for the Giants - and even some of their fans -- to deal with on the heels of the Josh Brown/domestic violence fiasco last year.