In 2018, running back Adrian Peterson didn’t sign with Washington until late August. He still had more than 1,000 rushing yards that season.
In 2020, Washington has sent Peterson packing the day before the mandatory reduction of the roster to 53.
It will make it harder for Peterson to land elsewhere, but there’s already interest in his services. Per a league source, a couple of teams have inquired about the future Hall of Famer.
One obvious candidate would be the Jaguars, where former Washington coach Jay Gruden serves as offensive coordinator. If, however, Peterson wants to pursue a Super Bowl championship in the remaining years of his career (he’s 35), Jacksonville doesn’t seem to currently be a good choice.
Kansas City would be intriguing; Damien Wiliams opted out, making rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire the clear-cut starter. Peterson could be an interesting complement, and it would give him as good a chance as anywhere to win a title during his career. However, he’d have to be willing to accept a backseat to the rookie first-rounder.
The Patriots also will be mentioned, because the Patriots always seem to be hovering whenever a great player is available, potentially at a bargain-basement price.
Other teams that make sense include the Steelers, the Bears, the Eagles, the Seahawks, and basically every team that was mentioned in connection with Leonard Fournette‘s short foray into free agency.
Peterson’s best option may be to wait for an inevitable injury to a starter. Running backs get injured all the time. This year, with limited hitting in camp and no preseason, it may just be a matter of time until a starting tailback on a contending team ends up out for the year. That’s when Peterson could come in and not just fill a spot on the depth chart but move the chains consistently, as he always has.