Adrian Peterson's Saints Contract Incentives Reportedly Revealed

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2017

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson warms up before the start of an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

If Adrian Peterson stays on the field for the next two years, his contract with the New Orleans Saints could end up being quite lucrative. 

Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate broke down Peterson's contract incentives Monday:

"He can earn earn additional money by rushing for 750 ($150,000), 1,000 ($250,000), 1,250 ($750,000) or 1,500 ($1 million) yards each of the next two seasons. Another bonus will come if he hits six ($250,000), eight ($500,000) or 10 touchdowns ($750,000). The 10 touchdown bonus will only be paid if he also leads the league in rushing yards."

"If Peterson rushes for 750 yards and the Saints make the playoffs there are other additional bonuses he will earn depending on how far the team advances."

Finally, he has a $750,000 roster bonus that kicks in on the third day of the 2018 league year, along with "a $25,000 roster bonus for each game he is active during that season and another bonus of $73,529 each week he is on the 53-man roster."

Peterson, 32, has struggled to stay healthy recently, playing just one game in the 2014 season and three games last year for the Minnesota Vikings. He's rushed for over 1,000 yards in seven of his eight other seasons in the league, however, and has been one of the NFL's most consistent and dangerous offensive weapons since being the No. 7 overall pick in the 2007 season.

In 2015, he rushed for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns. So if he can remain healthy, there's little doubt he can attain many of his contract incentives.

And the Saints should also reap the benefits. As Andy Benoit of The MMQB noted, Peterson's "style of play fits their offense perfectly." Benoit continued:

"The Saints, who prioritize big, road-grading linemen, employ the same straightforward downhill ground game [as the Vikings]. It marries nicely with their inside vertical passing foundation. The Saints also have two quality third-down backs, sixth-year veteran Travaris Cadet and third-round rookie Alvin Kamara. Peterson, a poor blocker and even poorer pass-catcher, won’t have to worry much about third downs. As a pure first- and second-down player, his adjustment to New Orleans should be seamless."

And given that the Saints have far more weapons in the run game—Mark Ingram is still on the roster, remember—this could be the year the team really focuses more on the ground attack and less on Drew Brees' arm. While Michael Thomas is coming off a fantastic rookie year and Ted Ginn Jr. was added this offseason, the Saints traded away Brandin Cooks and don't have an elite stable of wideouts.

But if teams are forced to stack the box to slow down Peterson, that won't matter as much.

"For rushing the ball, they ended up No. 2 and pass blocking, No. 9, and then you look at the young guys they have out wide, as well, it's a potent offense," Peterson said of the Saints, per Herbie Teope of NOLA.com. "That's something that's been shown for years now. So, me envisioning myself being behind Drew Brees, it was just like, 'Wow. What will the opposing team do?'"

In other words, if Peterson can stay healthy and productive, the Saints should have one of the more balanced and dangerous offenses in the NFL over the next two years.

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