The past three years have been quite the roller coaster ride for Adrian Peterson. It looks as though a change of scenery is coming, as reports suggest the former All-Pro running back is negotiating a contract with the New Orleans Saints.
Peterson was left to float in the free agent waters after the Minnesota Vikings cut ties with their longtime star. The Vikings passed on keeping Peterson for $18 million, which was to be expected given the recent history and age of Peterson. Peterson played every game in 2015 but played just one game in 2014 and three in 2016. At 32 years of age, at a position that can see the effectiveness vanish quickly, the Vikings made a football decision that also allows Peterson to pursue a brand new opportunity. Is there still enough in the tank to give the Saints a flash of his past greatness?
As for the details of the contract, it is all just rumor mill talk right now but Ian Rapoport floats the idea of a $3 million contract for the 2017 season.
Sources: #Saints & Adrian Peterson believed to be closing in on a deal that’d pay him $3M+ in ’17. Not done, but moving in that direction.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 24, 2017
If the final contract ends up being a one-year deal with that kind of commitment, that appears to be a safe play by the Saints. It is fair to question how Peterson will run coming off a torn meniscus in his right knee, along with an LCL sprain. More interestingly, what kind of role would the Saints be expecting Peterson to handle?
Peterson can still be a productive back when healthy, but at 32 years of age and on a roster that includes Mark Ingram, Peterson would appear to be added for a split-role in the running game. The Saints are making it very clear that Ingram is the franchise’s main running back, as would be evidenced by the contract value for Peterson being less than what Ingram would make in 2017. Ingram will be due $3.79 million this season according to Spotrac. Running the ball also tends to lead to success for the Saints, even with a quarterback as good as Drew Brees.
Key in probable Adrian Peterson signing is: Saints are 42-4 when they rush the ball 30 times or more in a game-Payton
— Michael Detillier (@MikeDetillier) April 24, 2017
That could be a benefit for the Saints, who can take some of the pressure off Ingram and not be burdened with having to carry the load himself. That could potentially be a win-win for the Saints and Peterson.
As far as Peterson is concerned, this is exactly what he wanted (per Rapoport):
— NFL (@NFL) April 24, 2017
Oh, one last detail: New Orleans opens the 2017 season on the road at Minnesota.