Adrian Peterson has finally found a new home.
On Tuesday morning, Peterson told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he intends to sign with the New Orleans Saints.
The deal is a two-year deal, worth up to $8.25 million. In 2017, Peterson will earn $3.5 million which is all guaranteed at signing. He will earn $1 million guaranteed in salary and a guaranteed $2.5 million signing bonus. The second-year will be an option year, with a $750,000 bonus if the Saints decide to keep him after this season.
Peterson turned 32 last month and normally NFL running backs hit their decline around the age of 30. Since 1990, only three running backs have rushed for 1,000 yards at age 32 and those backs are Ricky Williams, Emmitt Smith and Mike Anderson. Peterson has said in the past that he believes he can be a productive back into his 30s.
AP will share the backfield with Mark Ingram, who is coming off a career-year. The Saints will look for Peterson to be more of a role player and not a franchise or feature back, which could be a good thing for them.
Minnesota was the place Peterson called home for the first 10-years of his career, where he rushed for 11,747 yards and won the 2012 NFL MVP Award. The year he won the MVP Award, he was coming off a torn ACL the season prior and he responded by rushing for 2,097 yards.
He is coming off a torn meniscus from last year, but if 2012 is any indication, Peterson will look to bounce back in a big way.
This newfound marriage is somewhat puzzling on paper. The Saints, with Drew Brees under center and Sean Payton calling the plays, are a pass-happy offense. The signing of Peterson does nothing to enhance that style of offense. “All Day” is not known for his receiving abilities, nor his is a very good pass blocker.
On the flip-side of that, handing the ball to Ingram and Peterson out of the backfield is something the Saints can use to their advantage. New Orleans boasted the best run-blocking unit in the NFL last season and that will only help them this season with the essential two-headed monster of Ingram and Peterson. Another reason that handing the ball off to either back is a good option is that is keeps the Saints defense off the field. That defense is not very good and often times the Saints are in a shootout.
Peterson will look to prove the other 31 teams wrong in not courting him during free agency, but do you blame the other teams? At the end of the day, both parties decided this was a match made in heaven and reached a deal.
It won’t take long for Peterson to square off with his former team as the Saints travel to Minnesota for a clash with the Vikings in Week 1 on ESPN.