Adrian Peterson: It’s disrespectful how NFL teams value running backs

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Adrian Peterson re-set the running back market when he signed a seven-year, $96 million contract with the Vikings in 2011. Even though the salary cap has increased by 65 percent since then, running back salaries have barely budged, as NFL teams have devoted all that salary growth to other positions.

Peterson doesn’t like that.

It’s disrespectful to be honest with you. It really is,” Peterson told

Now 35 years old and heading into his 14th NFL season, Peterson hopes he’s showing NFL teams that running backs can be relied upon to have long careers.

“I think the change is going to come,” Peterson said. “Me and Frank Gore continue to show guys, ‘Hey, we are valuable. We can have 10, 14-year careers as well, so value us as well like you would value a quarterback.'”

The reality, however, is that running backs in today’s NFL are simply nowhere near as valuable as quarterbacks. It’s not about respect or lack of respect, it’s about the value that a player brings to his team. And running backs don’t bring the value to teams that quarterbacks do. Their contracts reflect that.

41 responses to “Adrian Peterson: It’s disrespectful how NFL teams value running backs

  1. There will be no running backs in the future. Receivers, Tight Ends and Scatchers

  2. As a Minnesota Vikings fan I can say Peterson is the perfect case study of why RBs are not as valuable in today’s NFL. For one Peterson failed to actually become a better player in essentially every facet of his position. He had talent running out of I-formation and singleback with QB undercenter. Anything outside of that he was weak. He was weak in pass protection, running routes, catching the football, running out of shotgun etc. He or the Vikings seemed to have a tell quite often when he was going to run the football. And even the great Adrian Peterson was pedestrian when he didn’t get blocking. The 5 guys up front are more important. Peterson fumbled in NFCCG (2 credited to him that were not lost the other was credited to Favre that was Peterson’s fault and lost). He fumbled in the Blair Walsh 27 yarder missed game as well (in 4th Quarter). As fun as he was to watch and athletic as he was he only carried his team one time and that was 2012 with a pretty good run blocking O-Line in front of him.
    So yeah. I’ll pass on paying RBs. RB was always my favorite position growing up. But the times they are a changing and it simply makes no sense to pay them big money. And this is without taking into consideration they are the more injury prone position in the game.

  3. ‘Running Back Thinks Running Back Most Important Position; Economics Begs to Differ’

  4. I agree but I also think way too much emphasis is put on QB. You need an adequate one – as long as you build key components (say, Defense) around him. When you consider that most QBs in the league really are just adequate, outside the top few, you have to start looking elsewhere. Teams invest a lot in mediocrity at the position in the hope they get a star. That’s bad business. (Foles, Osweiler, Cousins, and yes, JG come to mind).

  5. For every RB that lasts 14-15 years 10 last 3-5. Plenty of younger cheaper options out there. If you want to make money pick another position

  6. The game has changed, Adrian. On offense, teams used to be built around a running back. Now an offense is built around five or six positions, if not more. A running back is one of those assets. A multi-purpose RB is even more important. Unfortunately, you were always one demensional. Unable to block, and unwilling to learn how to catch on a consistent basis. I’d take 10 Thurman Thomas’s or Roger Craigs over you.

  7. What is wrong with guys like Peterson et al. Why can’t they understand the basic premise that certain positions are paid less because of their value. The idea that a position is disrespected is laughable. Let’s apply the same logic to a punter. Are the disrespected? Should they be paid QB money? Obviously not because their value is minimal.

  8. I have a lot of respect for AP and Frank Gore on the field.

    It’s also about being the most-injured position in the game, in a game that has reduced the number of touches a RB has by half in the past two decades, how most teams discovered they don’t need a stud in the backfield that a committee can be effective as well, and that AP simply isn’t a 3-down RB. But “…value us as well like you would value a quarterback.” says it all… this is just delusion talking.

    It sucks to be devalued. I’ve been devalued in my career for about 10 years straight to the point where I see a need to make a wholesale change now due to industry shifts out of my control. Has nothing to do with respecting me or my type of job, it just is what it is.

  9. Sorry, AP, but running backs are treated like leasing a pick up truck. You work the hell out of them for the length of the contract, and get a new one.

  10. Ah, the respect card once again. The fans, virtually forgotten in all of the squabbling over money in the major sports, are the ones disrespected and many are likely going to show it by not renewing season tickets.

    We have no money and no jobs, AP, we don’t care how much you’ve been devalued and disrespected. We’re scared for ourselves and our families.

  11. Most overused word in all sports “respect”.

    It is a business and all about replacement value.

  12. Well welcome to the real world, most people at some point or the other feel disrespected by their bosses and/or feel they dont get enough respect for the job they do.

  13. Actually I think the quarterbacks are overpaid
    If you have a Mahomes or Wilson on a rookie contract you win Super Bowls
    Once they get paid you’re in salary cap hell and you lose all your good players

    Ask Flacco how it worked out

  14. The Vikings only managed to win one measly playoff game during the entire decade that AP carried the rock for them. One measly playoff game in 10 seasons out of what Viking fans insist is the greatest RB in NFL history.

    How much are teams supposed to pay for that degree of perennial failure?

  15. I’m tired of this whole respect thing quite frankly…Respect is earned not given, and if the running back position is so valuable then more teams would be paying top dollar for running backs, but when you look at what happened to the Rams you realize the position doesn’t warrant the value these guys believe it should…End of Story

  16. Adrian should talk less and worry about making the team this year. Guice, Barber, McKissic, Gibson, and probably Love will make the team if healthy. AP could be the odd man out

  17. Poor Adrian somebody should tell him that a 35yo QB who is still in the league is going to make way more than a 35yo running back for the obvious reasons. When your position relies on speed and quickness and you’re 7 years past your prime your speed and quickness have long since diminished way more than a 35yo QB’s arm strength has.

  18. AP just please go away. You were a one dimensional back & are a pure stats guy. You are the AB of running backs.

  19. If NFL GM’s can devalue the RB position like they have, they need to start to devalue QB’s save the NFL game.
    These QB salaries are out of whack completely. No NFL player getting $30 or more million a year is worth it. And they hurt the teams that pay it. NFL GM’s can’t continue to throw absurd amount at the QB position. Mahomes will get $50 million a year at this rate.

  20. Is it disrespectful how the NFL pays Kickers and Punters and Fullbacks? No: pay is connected to how positions and players within positions are valued. If the position were more valuable, it would be more in demand, and if it were more in demand teams would pay more for them to obtain/keep them. Peterson is wrongly looking at this as if teams simply decided to screw the RB position over. Not at all; the position used to be a glory one, but the game has changed in a way that has left it less valuable. “That’s just the waaaaaay it isssssss”, as the song goes.

  21. You mean like tight ends from the beginning of time up until 20 some years ago.

  22. Cook is a better overall back than Peterson was because cook is an actual passing game threat.

  23. Sometimes respect is earned through silence, you’re talking far too much at this point your career AP. People that talk too much are so damn annoying.

  24. The Vikings continued to pay him in-full and in good-faith for two full seasons during his recovery from injury and his legal problems. He showed them his respect and gratitude by demanding a raise to return. The Vikings missed their opportunity to dump him and had little choice but to re-sign him. That’s on them. He should’ve given them a team-friendly deal. He owed it to them. It goes both ways. That’s on him.

  25. Agree with ap 100 percent on this. The hearing they take they should have shorter rookie deals and not be allowed to receive the franchise tag unless they agree to it. Rbs use to make the nfl and now they are chewed up and spit out.

  26. It’s just the cycle of the NFL chess battle between offense and defense. Right now offenses are geared towards QBs and WR’s while defense want smaller and faster CBs and well as rushing ends to the QB. One day a big bruising or shifty running back is going to tear through defenses and teams will try to copy that formula. Years from now, new fans will go ,” hey, it’s legal to carry the ball and run?”

  27. Adrian Peterson re-set the running back market when he signed a seven-year, $96 million contract with the Vikings in 2011

    And he was a one dimensional RB that couldn’t block or catch! I can’t wait until thay all give up the position to move somewhere else and teams can’t find a decent RB. That day’s coming if they just keep screwing them!

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