Adrian Peterson, Redskins Agree to Contract After Derrius Guice Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist

Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson (23) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Washington Redskins and free-agent running back Adrian Peterson reached a contract agreement Monday, the team announced.

Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network first reported the signing. On Tuesday morning, ESPN's Field Yates, citing a source, reported "Peterson's one-year deal with the Redskins is for $1.015 million, the veteran's minimum for a player of his tenure. He'll count just $630,000 against the cap as a minimum salary benefit player."

Peterson was released by the Arizona Cardinals, who acquired him in an October trade with the New Orleans Saints, before the start of the new NFL league year. He landed on injured reserve in December because of a neck problem after making 10 appearances between the two teams in 2017.

The 33-year-old University of Oklahoma product struggled to showcase the explosiveness that once made him one of the league's top playmakers even before the health setback. He averaged 3.4 yards across 156 attempts last season.

His lackluster performance came on the heels of a forgettable 2016 campaign in which he posted 1.9 yards per carry across three games while missing most of the year with a knee injury.

In October, Peterson expressed confidence he could still make a high-end impact at the NFL level despite the seemingly fading numbers.

"I have so much left," he told reporters. "I look to play at least four or five more years, God willing. I have a lot left in the tank. Stay tuned. You guys will be able to see that firsthand."

You have to go back to 2015, when he rushed for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns with the Minnesota Vikings, to see near-peak production from him.

Peterson continues to receive opportunities because of his terrific track record. He topped 1,250 rushing yards seven times in his first eight years and scored at least 10 touchdowns in all of those seasons. It's unclear whether he can get back to that level, though.

Ultimately, the Skins decided to sign Peterson with the hope he can serve as short-term lightning in the bottle for the offense. His recent results suggest it's a long shot, but the limited financial commitment makes it a reasonable flier to take.

The seven-time Pro Bowl selection should compete with Rob Kelley for early-down carries with Chris Thompson receiving most of the third-down work. He could receive some starting opportunities after injuries to Derrius Guice, Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall.

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