Genius from the Redskins, or are they just confused?
The anticipation for the beginning of the NFL season is palpable, but that doesn’t mean that crazy, game-changing stories can’t manifest before it even begins. Case in point, the Washington Redskins are talking to legendary running back Adrian Peterson in the hopes of signing him to a deal. Now, is this a good move, a great move or a downright confusing one? Well depending on who you ask, all three options will end up being answers. But I’m here to tell you why this is a solid move. Not a great one, but definitely solid.
The Washington Redskins were hit hard earlier in the preseason as their first-round pick, Derrius Guice, running back from LSU, tore his ACL, ruling him out for the season. Right away, the Redskins were in a bind: they needed a running back but didn’t have a wide selection to choose from.
Enter Adrian Peterson. When you think of the greatest running backs of the 21st Century, Peterson’s name is obviously one of the first to pop up on everybody’s list. However, age catches up with everyone, and Mr. Peterson is no exception. That said, the Redskins don’t really have much wiggle room to make a choice, so going with perhaps the most prolific running back of the past 15 years would make a good deal of sense.
However, you may ask, “What are the benefits of Adrian Peterson playing for an NFL team nowadays?” For one, his experience is invaluable, so any knowledge that he can impart on his teammates is huge. After that, Peterson wouldn’t be the feature back for the team, but rather would likely be limited to certain situations that can utilize his talents best.
That said, there’s a chance that this ends up being shortsighted: Adrian Peterson averaged just 3.4 yards per rush last year, certainly a pedestrian number. Also, he’s 33 years old, no spring chicken, so the durability he was known for early on in his career is obviously a thing of the past. But this won’t matter if he’s used sparingly and asked to be more of a mentor than anything else.