Sean Payton says Saints trading Adrian Peterson to Cardinals was 'common sense'
Payton's reasoning for trading Peterson begs the question: Why sign him in the first place?
In late April, the Saints signed Adrian Peterson to a two-year contract. He didn't last five games. On Tuesday, the Saints traded Peterson to the Cardinals after getting 27 carries and 81 rushing yards out of him.
A day later, Saints coach Sean Payton called the trade a "common sense" decision.
"This was done just using common sense, and we had a chance to get a draft pick next year," Payton said, per NOLA.com "I know Arizona was short at this position, and there's a confidence level we have with how Mark and how Alvin are playing."
Payton's not wrong. It made complete sense for the Saints to trade him to Arizona. For one, the Saints have two better backs in Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Ingram leads the team in rushing yards with 170 while Kamara is second to Michael Thomas in receiving yards with 147. Meanwhile, Peterson rushed for 81 yards and added four receiving yards.
And two, the Cardinals were in need of a running back after losing David Johnson for most of the season. So from both perspectives, the trade made sense -- as our Joel Corry, a former agent, explained Wednesday.
But it's worth wondering: Why did the Saints sign Peterson in the first place?
Because that almost definitely wasn't a "common sense" move. Peterson wasn't just 32 and coming off a major knee injury, he was also coming off a 2016 season that saw him average 1.9 yards per carry. Furthermore, the team signing him was a team that loves throwing the ball with Drew Brees. Peterson's strength has never been catching the ball. The move never made any sense. It wouldn't even have made sense in "Madden."
All along, even the Saints acted as if they even knew it didn't make sense. After signing him, they went out and drafted Kamara in the third round. To this point, Kamara has been better than Peterson because, unlike Peterson, he actually fits the Saints' pass-happy offense in that he's capable of catching the ball.
Despite Peterson's inability to carve out a role, Payton thinks that Peterson "still has it."
"In my discussions yesterday with (Cardinals general manager) Steve Keim, it was like, 'Hey, this guy still has it, and here's what he does well and we've seen it,'" Payton said. "It's just a little crowded right now."
We'll find out soon enough. Unlike the Saints, the Cardinals can offer Peterson an actual role considering they're going to be without Johnson for a while longer and they just cut Chris Johnson -- an ironic move considering what Johnson tweeted just a month ago.
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