Adrian Peterson Rumors: Steelers Interest Veteran RB in Free Agency

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 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

Veteran running back Adrian Peterson reportedly has interest in signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic.

The soon-to-be-36-year-old veteran has played for four different teams over the past four seasons after spending the first 10 years of his NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings.

Pittsburgh could be in the market for a veteran running back like Peterson this offseason since James Conner is set to hit free agency.

For the first decade of his career in Minnesota, Peterson was among the most dominant running backs in the history of the sport.

He was a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro, and he was also named 2012 NFL MVP after rushing for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Peterson topped the 1,000-yard mark seven times in Minnesota, and overall in 123 regular-season games for the Vikes, he rushed for 11,747 yards and 97 scores.

After missing all but three games in 2016, Peterson moved on by signing a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. After just four games, however, Peterson was traded to the Arizona Cardinals.

He spent the following two seasons with the Washington Football Team and was a member of the Detroit Lions last season.

Peterson hasn't exactly been dominant since leaving Minnesota, but he did rush for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns with Washington in 2018, and he followed that up with 898 yards and five scores in 2019.

Last season, Peterson joined a crowded Detroit backfield, but he still managed to carve out a significant role, rushing for 604 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games.

Detroit Lions @Lions

.@AdrianPeterson has his second TD of the day❗️ 📱 https://t.co/9FfRobYXdz https://t.co/EAHS5wDrPF

Peterson is a legend and a surefire, first-ballot Hall of Famer who ranks fifth in NFL history with 14,820 rushing yards and fourth with 118 rushing touchdowns.

Pittsburgh ranked last in the NFL in rushing yardage last season, and there is no question that it has to improve in that regard in 2021 to take some pressure off veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Assuming Conner doesn't re-sign, the Steelers will be left with some inexperienced options in the backfield, including Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr.

Peterson isn't a bell-cow back any longer, but he could thrive in short-yardage situations and be a great mentor for Snell and McFarland next season.