Adrian Peterson insists he’s still an elite running back

Getty Images

Saints running back Adrian Peterson is 32 years old and has had two knee surgeries, including one last season for a torn meniscus. Yet, don’t tell Peterson he’s no longer one of the league’s top running backs.

“It’s just always crazy sitting back and seeing how, just because, you know, I’m 32 now, people say, ‘Oh, well, he’s losing it because this back or that back lost it around that time,'” Peterson said, via the Associated Press. “But you erase the [2015] season when I came back after sitting out for a year and led the league in rushing.”

Peterson played 13 plays in the preseason, with seven touches for 14 yards against the Texans after missing most of last season, his final of 10 seasons in Minnesota. Peterson said he was willing to renegotiate his contract to stay with the Vikings, who declined to exercise his $18 million option. But Peterson used the Vikings’ signing of running back Latavius Murray as his sign it was time to find a new home.

“For me to have an exit meeting and the next time I talked to them I was getting a call at 1 o’clock in the morning saying we’re signing Latavius Murray, that’s no ego blow for me,” Peterson said. “For me, that’s motivation. Congratulations. Now I can move on and take my abilities somewhere else.”

Peterson signed with the Saints and will share carries with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. He makes his debut with his new team playing his old team.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” Peterson said. “Just trying to keep myself calm until Monday night comes around. I’m looking for amazing things to happen for me and our team.”