With the 23-7 loss on Monday Night Football to the New York Giants has sunk the Minnesota Vikings' 2013 season to a new low. As players at every position continue to under-perform and the coaching staff continues to "look at tape" to attempt to stop the hemorrhaging defense and poor offense; speculation that the Vikings star player might retire have surfaced.

Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker and current ESPN NFL analyst Ray Lewis suggests Adrian Peterson's talents and physical abilities are being wasted, and that he may be better-served retiring in Barry Sanders fashion; leaving the game prematurely.

Larry Brown Sports captured some thoughts from Lewis, saying both Peterson and Sanders have fallen victim to being superstar players on mediocre teams; and Lewis says he saw something in Peterson's eyes that made him feel like a decision similar to Sanders's might be coming. Here's Lewis's quote:

Me going out on that field tonight and me looking at Adrian Peterson’s eyes, it’s something that I want to bring up that I don’t want to see happen to this young kid. Because we saw it happen to a great one one time before, which was Barry Sanders. If he keeps going down this road, he’s going to have to make a business decision just like Barry Sanders made a while ago. He plays the game with so much passion and so much love, and he plays it so hard … and to do him like that, to surround him with a team like that … I don’t like to see great people go through things like that. I think they have to figure it all out organizationally to figure out what is going on with the Minnesota Vikings.


Obviously Lewis's take is speculation, but there is truth in the fact that some deep soul-searching needs to be done within the Vikings organization. With a carousel of inconsistent quarterbacks, deteriorating offensive line play, despicable defensive play, and up-and-down coaching staffs; Peterson's best years are largely being wasted.

Some fans have called for the Vikings to trade Peterson to a contending team, giving the Vikings draft picks and giving AP a chance to win a championship. While a trade is highly unlikely, there is bound to be a big shakeup around him this offseason. Sweeping coaching changes, a major defensive overhaul, and a new quarterback (again) are among those probably moves.

For the record, Sanders retired after 10 seasons in the league. Peterson is in his 7th season.