This morning, the Washington Redskins exercised running back Adrian Peterson’s team-option, effectively placing him on the roster for the 2020 season. Peterson, 34, will be entering his fourteenth season in the NFL after being drafted in the first-round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
Who would’ve thought, huh? Adrian Peterson still kicking around at 34 (he turns 35 on March 21). But actually, I don’t think I could have imagined a world in which Peterson played into the 2020’s. His career seemed to be over after 2017.
In the 2016-17 offseason, Peterson was signed by the New Orleans Saints. After just four games in which he only carried the ball 27 times, the former Vikings star was cut. Shortly after, Peteson was agreed to a deal with the Arizona Cardinals, but after the season Arizona did not offer him a contract. That sent him to free agency where he remained unsigned for the majority of the offseason: that was until the Washington Redskins came along.
Peterson signed a one-year deal with the Redskins, after then rookie running back Derrius Guice tore his ACL in the preseason. Peterson proceeded to run (no pun intended) with the opportunity, putting up over 1,000 yards on a 4.2 yard per carry average. That improbably led to Peterson re-upping with Washington again for the 2019 season.
Now, Peterson is rolling into 2020 with the Redskins and new head coach Ron Rivera. But honestly, how did this even happen? Peterson’s injury history (especially surrounding his legs) is LONG. I figured that if the NFL didn’t allow him to play football after 2017, his body would be the reason behind the ending of his career. Yet Peterson is still here, performing at a high level.
I really shouldn’t be surprised considering Adrian Peterson is probably the best running back I have seen in my lifetime. In his 10 years in Minnesota, Peterson was almost unstoppable. I will never forget his MVP season back in 2012. He was able to run through, or around, almost any defensive player on the field.
All in all, good for Peterson to persevere and continue playing in a league where running backs are turned over faster than a 100-meter sprint by Usain Bolt. But I guess that what makes him, and fellow old timer Frank Gore, special. They continue to get the job done at an older age with the help of their experience and determination.
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-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)