It wasn’t until then-rookie Derrius Guice of the Washington Redskins suffered an unfortunate torn ACL that future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson latched on with a team last year
Ultimately, Peterson signed a one-year veteran minimum deal with Washington in late August.
For many, the 33-year-old back was washed up. He had put up just north of 600 total yards over the past two seasons — missing 19 games in the process. Far beyond the age that most backs hit that inevitable wall, Peterson proved skeptics wrong.
He’s now cashing in to the tune of $8 million over two seasons by re-signing with the above-mentioned Redskins.
Just as the market turned weak for a younger back in Le’Veon Bell, Peterson showed on Wednesday that teams can still value proven ball carriers.
He played and didn’t complain: This professionalism is big in today’s NFL.
- Instead of complaining about a bare market last summer and openly wondering why there was no interest, AD put in the work.
- He didn’t make news with outlandish remarks on social media or to the public. Instead, AD was training for the day when a running back-needy team would come calling.
- Seen as a head case earlier in his career, this had to be refreshing for teams in need of a veteran.
Peterson’s performance spoke for itself: AD put up his best season since 2015.
- Dealing with the likes of Josh Johnson and Mark Sanchez under center for a good portion of the season, Peterson showed out on an otherwise bad Redskins offense.
- When all was said and done, the seven-time Pro Bowler recorded 1,250 total yards and averaged 4.6 yards per touch.
- Despite struggles at quarterback and on defense, this kept Washington in the NFC East race for a good portion of the season.
Veteran leadership counts: While others were sitting, AD acted as a force in the Skins’ locker room.
- This is no small thing. Fair or not, the above-mentioned Guice fell in the 2018 NFL Draft because of perceived immaturity concerns.
- Having AD in the mix to act as that veteran leader for the former second-round pick is going to be great for the Redskins.
- Given his recent public MO, we’re not expecting Peterson to complain too much should Guice take some touches from him. That’s no small thing.
In the end, Peterson found a way to turn lemons into lemonade. His career seemed to be all but over after failed stints in New Orleans and Arizona.
But by putting in the work, Peterson has extended his career. Not only that, he proved skeptics wrong at every turn.
This could ultimately be Peterson’s legacy once he puts that jacket on in Canton and is enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.