Adrian Peterson Says Tom Brady, Drew Brees Motivate Him to Play into 40s

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IFebruary 22, 2021

Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson runs against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Adrian Peterson is nowhere near calling it quits in the NFL.

The free agent, who turns 36 in March, has already said he wants to play until he turns 40, even though success after 35 is less common at his position. For motivation, all he has to do is take a look around the league.

He told Shannon Sharpe that Tom Brady (43) and Drew Brees (42) are sources of inspiration when it comes to considering how long it will be before he hangs up the cleats. 

"I understand that we play different positions," he said. "That still is motivation for me. These guys are doing the impossible, so why can't I?" 

Peterson was the Lions' top rusher in 2020, with 604 yards and seven touchdowns through 16 games. As for what other players have accomplished at 35 years old, Emmitt Smith posted 937 yards and nine touchdowns in 2004, and Frank Gore (who is still playing at 37) collected 722 yards on 156 carries in 2018.

Peterson, who is 3,535 rushing yards from Smith's all-time record (18,355), has goals lined up for his future in the league, too. 

"I'm going to keep playing, trying to chase the championship," Peterson told TMZ Sports. "And, God's willing, within the process of doing that, I'm able to catch Emmitt and pass him."