The Washington Football Team released running back Adrian Peterson on Friday. Peterson had been with Washington for the last two years and led the team in rushing with 1,940 yards and 12 touchdowns. In his career he had rushed for 14,216 yards, trailing Barry Sanders for fourth on the NFL’s career list. He ranks fourth in rushing touchdowns with 111.
“It comes as a surprise. I didn’t feel I showed anything that would warrant being released,” Peterson told ESPN. “I did not see an indicator I would be released. Ultimately it came down to them knowing Bryce is coming back, and he’s looking good, looking healthy. Barber is a younger guy as well who can contribute. At one point, I wouldn’t have been surprised if all five of us made the team, with all of them except me being able to play special teams.”
Peterson also said that he wants to keep playing. The release of Peterson is a huge loss for Washington because he’s a good player and could really help the offense be successful. However, the impact on the team’s backfield isn’t all bad.
Washington has young running backs and this is an opportunity for them to grow and get better. However, Peterson won’t be able to teach the young players or provide leadership. The team wants running backs to be multi threats and to use two-running back sets. Peterson could have the same role with another team as a two-back, but his role would be reduced.
While Washington wants its running backs to be multi threats, Peterson wouldn’t be much of a double threat. Even though he had 37 catches with Washington, Peterson is primarily a runner and wouldn’t be a big help in the passing game like the other running backs.
So where will Peterson go? One option is the New England Patriots. The Patriots do have Sony Michel at running back but he might not be reliable. Michel has had to deal with injuries a lot in his career. Peterson would add some depth for the Patriots and he could mentor the young guys and fill in for Michel when he’s injured.
The Chicago Bears are another option. David Montgomery might miss the start of the season due to a groin injury. While the Bears don’t need Peterson he could provide some depth and fill in for Montgomery and give him more time to heal.
Another option is the Kansas City Chiefs since Damien Williams opted out of the season. Peterson could teach and mentor rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Peterson would also have a good shot at a championship with the Chiefs.
My prediction is Peterson ends up with the Chiefs. The opportunity to win a championship with the Chiefs is too great to turn down.
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