As we know, the Minnesota Vikings have opted not to pick up the 2017 option on legendary running back Adrian (All Day) Peterson. That doesn’t mean they can’t change their mind and still re-sign him before or after the start of free agency on March 9. But what if the Purple Gang really is done with the 10-year veteran? Are they prepared to go forward? What’s head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman to do? Turn to the Green Bay Packers, of course.

A difficult season for both teams

First things first. Before anyone dismisses the notion of a player jumping from a team to a club in the same division, that argument ended a long time ago with the start of free agency.

Due mainly to injuries, the Green Bay Packers fell from 12th in 2015 to 20th in the league in rushing yards per game this past season.

But that was nothing compared to the Vikings, who finished last in the NFL when it came to yards on the ground. Peterson missed the vast majority of the season and Zimmer’s team managed a mere 75.3 rushing yards per contest. Seven players in the league ran for more yards than the Minnesota Vikings.

What does the future hold?

So let’s spin this forward. If Peterson does not return to the Vikings, could Spielman look to the Green Bay Packers and four-year pro Eddie Lacy as a replacement? His 2016 season was limited to five games due to injury but he totaled 360 yards on 71 carries.

He indeed could hit the open market on March 9.

And don’t forget that the Pack has made Ty Montgomery a full-time running back and the team has already released James Starks. Meanwhile, Jerick McKinnon is under contract but Matt Asiata is also slated to hit to become a free agent for the Vikings.

Hmmm. A.D. replaced by E.L?

Wow. You would think that the Packers wouldn’t allow Lacy to become available. But general manager Ted Thompson has a lot of good players to re-sign. Along with the talented running back, the list also includes safety Micah Hyde, guard T.J. Lang and outside linebacker Nick Perry. But shades of quarterback Brett Favre in a Minnesota uniform after all those years in Green Bay? Just remember that the “N” in the National Football League also stands for “Never.”