Adrian Peterson's career may be defined by defying anticipations, whether running for 2, 000 yards after knee surgery or leading the league in rushing at age 30. For his final react, Peterson will try to achieve a role that no one saw coming: backup running back inside a pass-first offense. It's just crazy enough to function.
Peterson agreed to some sort of two-year, $7 million contract with the Saints on Tuesday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport claimed, and the terms regarding his contract tell section of the story. He's guaranteed $3. 5 million, which, by no coincidence, is just under the $3. 7 million that Mark Ingram is determined to earn in 2017. For now, the Saints are sending a note that Ingram is option 1A inside a two-man backfield that could fit Peterson greater than most people think.
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Peterson has never been recently an asset on moving downs, and nearly every snap on the team run by Sean Payton and Drew Brees is really a potential passing down. But there has always been space for a Peterson-like runner within the Saints' offense. Chris Ivory used for being the team's between- the-tackles sludge hammer, a role that had been played last season by means of Tim Hightower, who wound up having 155 touches. Peterson will step into that job anyway, although he should carry the ball additional in a Saints backfield that had been quietly thin before this particular move.
Payton, like Bill Belichick, has always preferred to have many running back options who can perform different roles. The Saints were at their full capacity when Ivory was one of four runners in the diverse backfield that incorporated Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. Now Ingram, Peterson and satellite again Travaris Cadet will share the load.
Worrying about who the particular "starter" is between Ingram and Peterson misses the purpose. They both will use a huge role to play, and it's on Peterson to prove he would need to stay on the discipline. Ingram is a former first-round pick, but the six-year seasoned has never had the level of workhorse responsibilities Peterson taken care of in Minnesota. While Ingram has improved greatly on passing downs over time, he's never played a lot more than 542 snaps in a new season. That should leave an abundance of room for Peterson.
"On offense, it goes without saying which the Saints are really reliable behind Drew Brees. I feel like my skills can make them a lot more dominant as a model, " Peterson said inside a statement released after this signing. "They have a excellent offensive line, which is something that stood out in my experience as well. I could tell from discussing with head coach Sean Payton over the last two weeks that he did his sufficient research in evaluating how I could truthfully contribute. "
Peterson should be excited. Often playing with one hand behind his back because of the quarterback situation or questionable line in Minnesota, Peterson now joins a top-five quarterback along with a line that ranked among the league's best in run-blocking with 2016, according to Football Outsiders. Peterson will face far more advantageous fronts in Brand-new Orleans. The Saints do an excellent job spreading teams out horizontally with all of their receivers, and Peterson is developed to gash opponents up the middle.
The learning curve for Peterson within the Saints' pass-heavy offense might be steep, although perhaps the match isn't as awkward together would expect. While the NFL offers moved inexorably toward playing out of the shotgun formation at just about all times, the Saints have gone within the other direction. The team ranked 28th with shotgun snaps in 2016. They ran the basketball with Brees under middle, not in the shotgun, 80. 45 percent of some time, good for fifth inside league. That track record has to Peterson's strengths, and I'd expect your team to play to its personnel with increased power football in 2017.
The mystery here that no one can answer with full self-confidence in April: Which version of Peterson will make an appearance in New Orleans? Normally, a 32-year-old coming off a season tormented by knee and ankle injuries would inspire only skepticism. Peterson is anything yet normal. He's one of the maximum players at any position with this century, just two years taken off leading the league within rushing. Peterson has long overwhelmed opponents with his physicality and aggressive managing style. He simply runs harder than the competition, and that's never changed so long as he's been on the particular field. Paying $3. 5 million for the opportunity of greatness is a gamble worth taking from your Saints front office that has made many worse longshot gamble.
Any disappointment for Peterson about the lack of money and starting-job offers he obtained in free agency should desolve when he hits the field in Metairie, Louisiana, for offseason practices. He finally has a great offensive line. He has Drew Brees. He has a go coach in Sean Payton running out of chances to recapture earlier glory -- something Payton may require to find if all three want to avoid looking for perform elsewhere in 2018.
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