Adrian Peterson was cut by Washington but still plans to play in the NFL in 2020.
Adrian Peterson was cut by the Washington Football Team on Friday as rosters are being trimmed down to 53 players in what was a truly shocking move. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, though, the 35-year-old running back is still planning to play in the 2020 season. So now a veteran running back is on the free-agent market.
Despite his age, Peterson was a productive NFL running back in Washington, even though he was part of an offense that simply wasn’t very good. The then-34-year-old got 211 carries in 15 games for 898 yards and five touchdowns. In 16 games the previous year, Peterson ran for 1,042 yards and seven scores on 251 carries.
Though he may not be the world-beater he once was, Peterson has proven than he’s still a usable piece of a rushing offense. So then, which NFL teams should be interested in signing the running back now that he’s available? Let’s take a look at a few.
Which NFL teams should be interested in Adrian Peterson?
4. Los Angeles Chargers
With Tyrod Taylor as the starting quarterback and rookie Justin Herbert behind him and not yet ready, it feels safe to say the Chargers will rely on their rushing attack. Austin Ekeler has showcased his ability and there is a young stable behind him. But perhaps LA could look to strengthen that group with Peterson.
The veteran running back could join the Bolts and give the offense a reliable player to work behind Ekeler. Furthermore, it would diversify the skill-sets in the backfield with Ekeler, who is a smaller, shiftier back than Peterson at this stage of his career. That might then raise the ceiling of the Chargers offense.
3. Chicago Bears
If fully healthy, there’s an argument to be made that the Chicago Bears don’t need Adrian Peterson. They have second-year runner David Montgomery and the electric scat back Tarik Cohen in tow. Where the problem lies, though, is the fact that they aren’t healthy right now.
Montgomery, who also struggled in his rookie season, will miss the start of the year with a groin injury. Cohen, for all his talent, isn’t capable of succeeding in the same role that Montgomery would play. Peterson, however, is tailor-made to that type of role as a more powerful runner who can set up play-action. Maybe that’s enough to get Ryan Pace to pick up the phone.
2. New England Patriots
We’ve already seen that the Patriots are clearly not content with the situation in the running back room right now. Part of that is likely the injury to young Damien Harris, who is set to miss the start of the year. But even then, New England has already signed Lamar Miller and showed interest in Leonard Fournette when he was available.
So it should stand to reason that the Pats would also have some interest in Peterson. Sony Michel hasn’t lived up to his first-round billing either in performance or health while James White remains a pass-catching specialist. This team likes to run the ball and Peterson should be able to come in and do so without much hesitation.
1. Los Angeles Rams
There has been hype about the Los Angeles Rams young running backs, namely Darrell Henderson and rookie Cam Akers, all offseason. Yet, we don’t have any real clarity about who will be the guy in the offense where running backs are vital. Maybe that’s because it’s a platoon but maybe it’s because they are still searching.
Peterson may not be an ideal fit but he is a stable running back who could set up play-action and passing game work for the younger backs. This one might seem a bit far-fetched but, as Sean McVay tries to get the offense back on track, maybe not.