The NFL is a brutal league, where even the most talented players often find their careers cut short by age-related injuries. Adrian Peterson, who at 30 has already had a legendary career, is now the victim of a brutal reality. The Minnesota Vikings star running back has reached the point of denial in his legendary NFL career, and he has lost the will to mount a comeback.
It has been a long road for Adrian Peterson since he was drafted in the 2007 NFL Draft. After a promising start, he was suspended by the NFL in 2010 for violating the league’s policy against using banned substances. Even after a 2-year suspension was reinstated, a series of unfortunate injuries and off-field incidents have pushed him down the NFL draft board.
Adrian Peterson is a man of many titles, but none of them seem to fit his age. Peterson is the record-holder for most rushing yards in a single season, he’s the NFL’s current leader in rushing touchdowns, and he’s the only player in the league to have rushed for 2,000 yards in each of the last two seasons. But it’s at age 30 that Peterson is at his lowest career point: the Minnesota Vikings’ star running back is second in the league in carries, but he’s averaging a career-low 2.1 yards per carry, and he’s not even the team’s leading rusher. Peterson’s been the model of perseverance throughout his career, but he’s reached the point where he’s fighting off the
Adrian Peterson has finally found an opponent he can’t knock out: Father Time.
In due course, Peterson will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside his former teammates Brett Favre and Steve Hutchinson. Unfortunately for Peterson, the inauguration ceremony is getting closer and closer, though he would like to think otherwise.
NFL legend Adrian Peterson denies the future of his playing career | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
In Peterson’s ideal world, he would be playing on a team this fall and knocking out defenders every Sunday.
According to Sports Talk 790 in Houston, the seven-time Pro Bowler recently said he continues to train in hopes of playing later this year. Peterson, who turned 36 in March, ran for 604 yards and seven touchdowns with 3.9 yards per carry in 16 games and 10 starts for the Detroit Lions last year.
While talking to reporters on the red carpet of San Francisco 49ers forward Trent Williams’ upcoming documentary, Peterson made it clear that he is patiently waiting for another chance.
Training is going well and I will now check the things I can check and when the time comes someone will call me. That’s all I’m asking. My body feels good. I came out of last season in good shape. My body feels strong. I still feel young. I always feel good. I’m ready to play ball.
Peterson admitted that he still hopes to win a Super Bowl ring before retiring for good.
Yes, I have been for a long time, Peterson said. It would be great to finally have it.
Between his desire for a Super Bowl ring and the simple reality that he doesn’t want to retire yet, Peterson has every reason to keep playing.
And unlike Tim Tebow, the last few entries play into Peterson’s hands. He looked old in 2017 when he played for the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints, but in the past three years he has rushed for 2,544 yards and 19 touchdowns with 4.1 yards per ball. He also has 49 catches for 451 yards and a touchdown in 47 games and 41 starts.
The problem is what Peterson wants to do this fall: It’s old. He turned 36 at the start of the year and has over 3,600 contacts in the regular season and postseason. Why would the team contract Peterson as a second running back when they could give those opportunities to a younger player?
Peterson’s comment about someone calling me and I still feel young is denial. He has suffered two serious knee injuries in the last decade and has also missed games with knee, shoulder and neck problems. Something tells us all that complaining doesn’t make you feel young.
Even the worst teams in the league, whether it’s the Houston Texans or the New York Jets, are now full of running backs. If the top teams need another defender, even if it’s someone on minimum wage, they’ll sign someone under 36. Fair or unfair, that is the reality and Peterson will have to accept it in the coming weeks and months.
Since we don’t quite believe in the idea of a dream crash, let’s take a more optimistic view. Peterson wants to keep playing, and he probably wants to do so for a team that has a realistic chance of winning Super Bowl 56.
The running backs of the Pittsburgh Steelers are not very interesting, with the exception of first round pick Najee Harris. However, key backup players Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr. still have rookie contracts, which could play into Peterson’s hands.
The Tennessee Titans need another strong linebacker behind Derrick Henry. Offensive coordinator Todd Downing saw Peterson up close when he worked for the Detroit Lions from 2009 to 2013. It would be an interesting combination, at least on paper, and it would mean Peterson would finally play in the AFC.
A reunion with one of his former teams, be it the Vikings or the Saints, now seems unlikely. But Peterson has surprised us before, so who knows? Maybe he’ll end up in the Pro Bowl and prove his critics wrong.
But before he does anything, Peterson needs to step back and rethink things. He had a storied career and will one day have a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio. There is no shame in him announcing soon that he has played his last game and is retiring.
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COMPARED TO: All 1. 2007 NFL Draft Pick: Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson Selection round: Where are they now?
When Adrian Peterson was drafted in 2007, he was the best running back prospect since Franco Harris. After all, he was the son of a legendary running back, and his father had once again played in the NFL. At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, he was considered a perfect fit for an NFL team. He was young and strong, had good hands, and was fast enough to consistently reach the next level of the field.. Read more about adrian peterson retire and let us know what you think.
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