Did Adrian Peterson just sign a contract that will ultimately end his career?
Peterson, a future hall-of-famer, is one of the NFL’s greatest running backs. He ranks 5th all time in rushing yards (14,216) and 4th in rushing touchdowns (111).
Starting his career with the Vikings, Peterson rushed for over 1,000 yards in eight different seasons, including his legendary 2012-2013 season, in which he rushed for 2097 rushing yards.
Unfortunately, his career was derailed following some injuries and his domestic-abuse issues. Peterson was forced to spend time in court and the spotlight defending his name and reinventing himself.
After spending some time away from the league, Peterson was signed by the Saints. Following that disappointing season, he went to the Cardinals, and then later went to the Redskins.
Peterson experienced success with the Redskins rushing for 1,940 yards and 12 touchdowns over two seasons. After being released by the Washington Football Team (formerly known as the Redskins), Peterson found himself a free agent searching for a home.
The Detroit Lions swooped in and snagged the 35-year-old rusher, and Peterson joins a crowded running back committee, just like his situation in Washington.
This signing is confusing, and there’s two main reasons why this season is going to derail what is left of Peterson’s career.
First, the Lions already have two solid running backs.
D’Andre Swift, whom the Lions drafted with the 35th overall pick in last year’s draft, is slated to be the team’s premier back. Kerryon Johnson will also play a prominent role in the offense, too.
Where does Peterson fit in this mix? He’s a solid rusher with years of experience, but there are only so many carries to go around. Will the Lions abandon Johnson or underuse Swift in order to get Peterson carries?
Additionally, the Lions are not contenders in the NFL. The Lions aren’t a threat to win their own division, let alone the NFC.
Since 2000, the Lions have just five seasons of nine or more wins. The Lions haven’t won their division since 1993, and with the prowess of the Packers and Vikings, the Lions don’t stand a chance.
So, Peterson is going to a team that is greatly underperforming and one where he won’t be a focal point. It’s interesting to see many teams like the Eagles, Jaguars, and Patriots passed on Peterson, even though they could definitely use him.
When will time catch up with Peterson? Most running backs don’t last very long due to injuries and other factors, and Peterson is already pushing his usefulness. Is this decision going to be the nail in the coffin?
Peterson is going to have to overcome plenty of factors this season if he wants to return to glory, and his biggest challenges may be self-inflicted based on the team he signed with. Will he come to regret his decision?
All stats were taken from PFF and ESPN.