All the Baltimore Ravens need to do is point to Peterson as a reason why Rice, the team's star runner, shouldn't get a huge contract, much like the one Peterson signed last year and much like the one he reportedly wants.
Peterson, you see, is coming off a major knee injury. While medicine and Peterson's drive will help him overcome what was once a career-shortening injury, there's no saying for certain he will be the same player.
Vikings fans hope he will be.
Football fans, in general, should too.
But there are no guarantees with backs with major knee injuries. That's why it's so risky to pay free-agent backs long-term deals.
Rice is still young at 25 and the Ravens would be wise to lock him up to a long-term deal, but only if it's the right price. They can't go nuts. Backs just aren't worth it -- even great ones.
The Giants just won a Super Bowl with the 32nd-ranked running game in the NFL. Need more proof?
Peterson signed a seven-year, $100-million contract last September with $40 million in the first three years.
Whether he lives up that deal is uncertain now. He's young enough that he can bounce back, but the question we don't have the answer to is whether he will be the same.
Running backs are being phased out of the offenses. Teams are using two more than ever. They're also throwing it more.
So again I say this to Ray Rice: Don't mention Peterson, or Chris Johnson for that matter, in your contract talks.