Posted on July 12, 2017, by Travis Pulver
For most of his career, New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson has been regarded as the best in the business. It’s a fact that he has proven time and time again. But when he hit the open market, the suitors did not come running in hopes of acquiring his services. There was some interest for the former Viking, but not much.
According to reports, there were at least 3-5 teams that were interested in Peterson. He had a visit in Seattle, but the Seahawks went with Eddie Lacy instead. New England gave him a look, but rumor has it they do so more as a favor to Peterson’s agent.
It got to the point that some were starting to speculate he might not get signed at all. He didn’t exactly play well in the three games he appeared in last season. At the tender old age of 32, it would not be shocking if he were to decline as many running backs have after they clear 30. According to the rumor mill, his contract demands ($8 million/season) were more than anyone was willing to pay.
The rumors were so prevalent that he eventually released a statement refuting them.
On the surface of things, it would appear that he probably signed with the Saints because they were the only (or first) team to make an offer he could live with (he signed for two years, $7 million). But Peterson tells a different story on what led him to the Saints.
Recently, he spoke with Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report and shared what it was.
…Then one day he was looking for a duffel bag in his home office. Things were out of place because the house was being cleaned, and he couldn’t find the bag. So instead he grabbed a black leather bag he’d had for years. It had a piece of tape on it. Peterson had forgotten why it was there. He tore off the tape.
And there was his sign.
The logo of the New Orleans Saints.
There was more to it, of course. Peterson went on to talk about Sean Payton’s honesty and passion. The idea of playing with a quarterback like Drew Brees was appealing as well.
“I was attracted to playing with Brees, a guy who is good at distributing the ball to different players,” he said. “I know in this system, I’ll get some opportunities to catch the ball in space. Drew Brees, he’ll get the ball to me.”
His signing with the Saints has led to many wondering if there will be enough carries to go around in the New Orleans backfield. With New Orleans being a team that lives and dies by the pass, there aren’t many carries in general.
Peterson could become a weapon in the passing game, of course, and has stated he wants to clear 500 receiving yards this season. But he has never been a big player in the passing game (career high 436 yards in 2009). Ingram is a better receiving threat, and rookie Alvin Kamara was a great one in college.
As nice as his desire to top 500 receiving yards is, fans will just be glad to see he still has some magic left in those legs of his. But did he sign with the Saints out of necessity? We’ll never know for sure—but his story is much more entertaining.