Last August, it seemed that Adrian Peterson might be fading into retirement.
He spent the whole offseason unsigned, before the Washington Redskins had injury problems and were desperate.
Peterson had no such problems finding a team this year. Hours before free agency, Peterson and the Redskins agreed to a two-year, $8 million according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Peterson turns 34 years old on March 21.
Adrian Peterson had a surprising 1,000-yard season
If Peterson hadn’t found a team last year and never played again, he still would have walked into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But this chapter to his career adds to the legend. In 2017 he looked finished with the New Orleans Saints and then the Arizona Cardinals. He had a couple big games with the Cardinals but then the offseason came and he wasn’t signed.
Washington had a running back, rookie Derrius Guice, but he tore his ACL in a preseason game last August. The Redskins tried out some backs, signed Peterson, and Peterson rushed for 1,042 yards.
Peterson once came back from a torn ACL to rush for 2,000 yards and win NFL MVP, so rushing for 1,000 at age 33 when he seemed to be out of time in the NFL wasn’t his most impressive feat. But it was still pretty remarkable.
What does Peterson have left?
According to Pro Football Reference only two players, Hall of Famers John Riggins and John Henry Johnson, have posted 1,000-yard seasons at age 34 or later. Riggins did it twice.
Peterson will be a Hall of Famer too, so it’s hard to rule out another big season. It’s a bit surprising Washington gave him a two-year deal, but he still looked like a capable back last year and he’s a physical marvel.
Whatever Peterson does this season and beyond, he has already beaten plenty of odds. Maybe he has even more to add to his NFL story.