Adrian Peterson will be returning to the NFL for a 14th season. The Washington Redskins announced Wednesday the team picked up the club option on Peterson's contract, a base salary of $2.25 million in 2020 (per Over The Cap), guaranteeing the 34-year old running back a shot at eclipsing the 15,000-yard mark this season.
Peterson is fifth on the NFL's all-time rushing yards list with 14,216 yards, just 784 yards away from 15,000 for his career. He's 1,053 yards away from tying Barry Sanders for fourth all-time on the career rushing yards list and 1,131 yards away from tying Frank Gore for third. Peterson has 111 career rushing touchdowns, good for fourth on the all-time list, and needs just 12 to tie Marcus Allen (123) for third.
"Adrian Peterson is the epitome of what it means to be a pro in this league," said Redskins head coach Ron Rivera, via the Redskins website. "Adrian's leadership and passion towards the game of football will set an example of what is expected of the players in this program moving forward."
Peterson rushed for 898 yards and five touchdowns last season in 15 games (4.3 yards per carry), one year after rushing for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns (4.2 yards per carry). Peterson has only missed one game in his two seasons with the Redskins, when he was a surprise inactive for Week 1 of last season (even though the veteran running back was healthy).
Peterson's durability in his 30s has been a benchmark for the Redskins, especially since the 2018 second-round pick Derrius Guice missed 11 games in 2019, one year after missing the entire 2018 season after tearing his ACL in a preseason game during his rookie campaign. Guice had 42 carries for 245 yards and two touchdowns (5.8 yards per carry) in five games before suffering a knee injury in December that forced him to miss the remainder of the season.
While Guice will certainly challenge Peterson for first team reps, Washington was wise for keeping Peterson (who will be 35 in March) as an insurance policy in case Guice suffers another injury. With Peterson's return, the Redskins appear set at the top of their depth chart at running back in 2020.