Just when you thought Adrian Peterson might fade away after an all-time great career, the Washington Redskins picked up the phone.
Washington, which is in need of running back help after rookie Derrius Guice tore his ACL, will bring in Peterson for a visit on Monday according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Media.
The Redskins have had other unsigned backs in for visits, including Orleans Darkwa. But Peterson, a sure Hall of Famer and one of the best runners in NFL history, will certainly be the most intriguing name Washington considers.
Adrian Peterson is coming off a rough 2017 season
Peterson became a superstar and an NFL MVP with the Minnesota Vikings, but then he had the type of season which usually indicates the end is near.
Peterson was unsigned for a long time in free agency in 2017, then signed with the New Orleans Saints. He wasn’t happy with his role, which vanished when rookie Alvin Kamara emerged. Peterson was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, who had lost David Johnson, for a late-round pick.
Peterson did have a couple of vintage games with the Cardinals. He had 134 yards and two touchdowns in his Arizona debut. He also had 159 yards in a win over the 49ers. But the sight of Peterson in a Saints uniform, and then in a Cardinals uniform, was jarring.
But he still showed enough last season to pique the Redskins’ interest.
Would Peterson fit with the Redskins?
Washington is in pretty bad shape at running back without Guice. Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine are both pedestrian, and Perine is dealing with an ankle injury. Redskins coach Jay Gruden admitted the team needed help and would look to sign a veteran.
Peterson would fit in, assuming he has anything left at age 33 (and that might be a big assumption, given that he averaged 3.4 yards per carry last season). Washington has Chris Thompson to be the pass-catching back, something Peterson has never done well. What the Redskins need is someone who can run between the tackles and keep defenses honest. Garafolo tweeted that Peterson is “apparently in very good shape,” and that’s not too surprising even though he has been unsigned all offseason.
Which running back will Washington sign?
Just because the Redskins are bringing Peterson in for a visit doesn’t mean he’ll be signed. There were definite warning signs Peterson hit a wall last season, and those warning signs were evident even in his final Vikings seasons. Most running backs aren’t effective into their 30s.
But it would be a heck of a story. Peterson is one of the most famous players of his era, ranking 12th all time with 12,276 yards. He needs just 37 yards to pass Marshall Faulk and Jim Brown and enter the top 10 all time in rushing yards. If he has a 1,000-yard season left in him, he could climb up to the top eight.
Not that Peterson needs to play another down to solidify his legacy. But it would be interesting to see if he could provide anymore classic performances to his resume.
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