The Washington Redskins are set to sign Adrian Peterson to a one-year deal, the running back told ESPN's Josina Anderson. The team is hoping the 33-year-old will will help mitigate the loss of rookie second-rounder Derrius Guice, who was lost for the season to an ACL injury earlier this month.
A year ago, after the Vikings had released Peterson instead of paying him $18 million, he signed with the Saints, where his teammates couldn't talk enough about how amazing he looked during offseason practices.
When the 2017 regular season started, Peterson carried the ball six times for 18 yards in the opener against his former team, the Vikings, and watched Minnesota second-rounder Dalvin Cook break the franchise record for rushing yards by a rookie. Peterson lasted four games in New Orleans where he managed just 81 yards, 3.0 yards per carry, and didn't score once.
He was traded in October to Arizona, where things improved slightly; he rushed for 134 yards in his Week 6 debut, and ran for 159 more yards in Week 9, but missed the final five games with a neck injury. In six games with the Cardinals, he finished with 448 rushing yards, 3.5 yards per carry and two touchdowns.
Peterson's recent history suggests he's not nearly the player he once was, which is what happens to running backs on the wrong side of 30. But Peterson's new Redskins teammate -- and old college teammate -- offensive tackle Trent Williams, remains convinced that the running back .
"You don't bring a guy like that in to be depth. You don't," he said. "So whatever role he's given, I'm pretty sure he would go with it. But if he's coming in here and they sign him, he's coming in to help. He's not coming in to fill up the last few spots on the roster." Williams said, via the Washington Times' Matthew Paras.
It's hard to imagine that Peterson will find his way to the top of the depth chart. It's more likely that he'll get limited work behind Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine in the coming weeks and his workload will be adjusted from there. There's also the possibility that the Redskins will target other, younger options when the 31 other teams trim their rosters a week before the start of the regular season. Names like Mike Gillislee or Jeremy Hill, two Patriots' running backs who could be battling for one spot, are worth watching.