Adrian Peterson was considered the best running back in the league at this point last year. Early struggles and a crushing knee injury in Week 2 stripped him of that title, leading the Vikings to decline his option a few months ago.
Now, hes a member of the Saints, after signing a two-year, $7 million contract with New Orleans on April 25. Landing with the Saints with that small contract not only signals the end of his reign as the leagues top back, but is also shows hes accepted a lesser role late in his career.
It was interesting to see him settle for such a small contract after making $18 million per year previously, but he couldnt pass up the chance to play with Drew Brees.
"Me envisioning myself being behindDrew Brees, is just like, 'Wow, what will the opposing team do?'" Peterson said on Tuesday, via NFL.com. "So I'm just excited for Week 1 and just to start the journey and see how teams try to defend us."
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Peterson explained his reasoning for signing with the Saints, despite Mark Ingram already being in the mix. He admitted that he had visits lined up with a few other teams after the draft, but he felt most comfortable in New Orleans.
"This is a good situation for me, he continued. Obviously, I visited Seattle and New England. And there were a couple of visits I had written down in pencil for after the draft. But ultimately, what it came down to me was the comfort level I had when I visited. And I had my visit here in New Orleans. Just the feel that I had for the city and the organization … just feeling the love and just the energy that I felt.
The Saints spent a draft pick on Alvin Kamara this past weekend, giving them three capable backs on offense. While thats great for them, it will almost certainly eat into Petersons carries.
Perhaps he would have been better off waiting until after the draft for reasons like this, but Peterson is confident he picked the right situation for himself going forward.
"I could have easily said I'll just wait for the draft and take these other couple visits, Peterson said. I actually got two calls during the week of the draft from two additional teams as well. So I could have went that route. But ultimately in my heart, in my soul, in my spirit, playing for theSaintsis what felt right for me."
The trio of Peterson, Ingram and Kamara will be interesting to watch, especially with Sean Paytons history of using a running back by committee approach. Peterson will most likely work on early downs before giving way to Ingram and Kamara on third.
This will be something new for Peterson, whos never been a part of a shared workload in the backfield.