Adrian Peterson, one of the most dominant running backs this century, if not the most. A 2,000 yard season under his belt, a 7 time pro-bowler, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, NFL MVP, 3-time NFL Rushing yards leader, the list of accolades for Peterson seemingly goes on and on. However, Adrian hit the open market this winter, the Vikings were ready to move on. A definite future hall of famer, allowed to walk for the other 31 teams to try and muster up the big bucks to sign him.
However, that is not how it went down.
The New Orleans Saints and Adrian Peterson made it official today, Peterson inked a 2 year, 7 million dollar contract…yes the same Adrian Peterson. He is now 32 years of age and becoming as injury prone as they come.
The weird thing about this signing is for New Orleans, this makes all the sense in the world.
However for Peterson, I’m still trying to figure this one out.
With the NFL Draft set for this Thursday, it was initially reported that Peterson would wait until after the draft to sign with a team and that makes the most sense. Him and his agent did not love the market, so you wait for a team looking to draft RB who doesn’t get the guy they want thus making them inclined to offer Peterson a little more money than a RB at his age should get. 32 years old is around where we see running backs start to call their careers a quits. Peterson may still think he has something left in the tank, but it is easy to see why a team would be reluctant to shell out 9 million dollars a year to someone at his age. So signing now almost leads me to believe teams interested in Peterson were slim to none. However waiting until after the draft may have expanded his options because there is no way in hell Adrian Peterson goes unsigned.
Last season, the Saints ranked 16th in total team rushing yards, exactly right in the middle of the pack. That seems fair, however New Orleans ranked first in total yards passing.
Excluding the 2014 and 2016 seasons, in which Peterson played 4 games total between those seasons, Adrian has never been on a terrific passing offense, he was always allowed to run and dominate the game, which is completely understandable. However when asking for 9 million dollars a season, something tells me you’re not expecting that pay day as a back-up and think that you can go in there, as a starter, and still put up great numbers. Here are the best passing offenses he has ever played for.
2007- 28th in Passing Offense, 1st in Rushing Offense
2008- 25th in Passing Offense, 5th in Rushing Offense
2009*- 8th in Passing Offense, 13th in Rushing Offense
2010- 26th in Passing Offense, 10th in Rushing Offense
2011- 28th in Passing Offense, 4th in Rushing Offense
2012- 31st in Passing Offense, 2nd in Rushing Offense
2013- 23rd in Passing Offense, 8th in Rushing Offense
2015- 31st in Passing Offense, 4th in Rushing Offense
*The 2009 Season is and out-liar as the QB that season was Brett Favre, an all-time great*
The point I’m making is Peterson, if he whole heatedly still believes he can still play and dominate backfields like he has his whole career, New Orleans is not the place to be. Since 2006 (when Brees came to New Orleans) the least yards Brees has thrown for is 4,388 and the lowest ranked passing offense he has lead was 4th in 2009…4th.
Lastly, at age 32, one would assume Peterson would be ring chasing at this point in his career, if you don’t believe me, his first visit was with the Patriots.
The Saints have gone 7-9 in the last 3 seasons, experts pick them to go 7-9 again this season. They have a statistically weak defense and usually have a minimal running attack lead by Mark Ingram most recently. Also, according to Pro Football Talk, Ingram’s role is not getting reduced and he was the starter, so this would in turn make Peterson the back-up.
Side Note, STAY AWAY from Mark Ingram in your fantasy drafts (see my 2015 and 2016 fantasy seasons)
To me, this just does not add up, but I wish Peterson the best of luck, it’d be a shame for his career to end in a Peyton Manning type fashion.