The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed eight new members on Saturday night, and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson thinks he’s already accomplished enough that he’s sure to join them in Canton some day.
“I’m going to be blunt and honest with you. I feel like if I didn’t play another snap in my life, I got the opportunity to go in the Hall of Fame right now,” Peterson told the Star Tribune.
Peterson’s goals go beyond just being a Hall of Famer, which he calls a “no-brainer.” He wants to be remembered as the best player in NFL history.
“Not just the greatest running back,” he points out. “The greatest player.”
That’s not going to happen. Peterson will likely get to the Hall of Fame, but he hasn’t dominated his era the way Jim Brown did. He hasn’t combined great regular-season production with postseason accomplishments the way Emmitt Smith did. He doesn’t have a highlight reel like Barry Sanders. He’s not the greatest running back in NFL history, and at the age of 30 he’s already on the down side of his career.
And Peterson surely won’t surpass the likes of Jerry Rice, Lawrence Taylor, Sammy Baugh and Johnny Unitas on the list of the greatest players ever to play at any position. Peterson is a great player. But he is a long way from the greatest.