The Minnesota Vikings seemingly closed the door on the possibility of a future with Adrian Peterson when the team signed former Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray on Thursday.
However, Murray wants to make it clear that while he’s the next step for the Vikings, he will never be Peterson:
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
Murray — who wore No. 28 during his three seasons in Oakland and his college days at Central Florida — posted on Instagram that he’ll change his number in Minnesota out of respect to the future Hall of Fame running back. Peterson was even one of Murray’s inspirations for wearing the number in the first place.
And Peterson appreciates Murray’s show of respect:
Peterson's response to the Latavius Murray tweet acknowledging his respect for #28:— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 16, 2017
"That's what's up." #AllLove
The Vikings announced that Murray will wear No. 25 instead.
.@LataviusM will wear No. 25 in honor of his best friend that passed away last year.— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) March 16, 2017
Peterson is still a free agent, and a reunion with the Vikings has long been considered a possibility for the running back. But adding Murray represents the addition of a similar stylistic running back who is four years younger and has nearly 2,000 fewer career rushing attempts.
With Murray added to the backfield, the Vikings have filled the hole left by Peterson’s departure, even if the former Raiders running back will never fill the shoes of the seven-time Pro Bowler who’s leaving.