Plenty of his new teammates think highly of his abilities. Saints running back Adrian Peterson still thinks highly of his abilities, too.
“I’ve lost nothing,” Peterson told Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com.
Many disagree, pointing to his age and a 2016 season derailed by injury and, when healthy, ineffectiveness. That kind of chatter continues to motivate Peterson.
“Outside sources that doubt because of age?” he said. “I led the league when I was 30, and it was the same thing then. ‘He’s going downhill.’ I played with a mediocre offensive line and still led the league at 30. I just look at things different. If I started buying into what everyone was saying, I probably would’ve retired three or four years ago.”
Some thought he’d necessarily retire this year, due to a lack of interest. The Vikings opted not to keep him for 2017 at a salary of $18 million, and he eventually took a fraction of that amount along with a fraction of his prior role to join the Saints.
“[I]t was different,” Peterson told Breer. “But I knew coming off the meniscus tear [in Week Two that caused him to miss all but one further game], it could happen. If I came out and led the league in rushing, I’d have been off the market. That wasn’t the situation I was in. So in my mind — this is the situation, this is the position you’re in, it’s not what you envisioned going into the off-season, but this is where you’re at, so how are you gonna handle it?”
He handled it in a way that surprised many, taking less money for a lesser role with a team regarded as less than a contender. While the money won’t change (but for the reaching of incentives), the role could grow and the team, with Peterson on board, could thrive.