Lions Sign Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson is back in the NFC North. After being released by Washington on Friday, the longtime Viking and future Hall-of-Fame running back is signing with the Lions, as veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson was first to report (Twitter link).

Per Adam Schefter of, Peterson’s deal with Detroit will be a one-year pact worth a minimum of $1.05MM, though there are incentives to push that number a bit higher (Twitter link). Sources tell Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that the deal will max out at $2.3MM and that the incentives are based upon yardage and touchdowns.

Although the Lions’ RB room is crowded, it also has a few question marks. The club selected Kerryon Johnson in the second round of the 2018 draft, and while he has shown flashes of promise, he has missed significant time over his first two years in the league due to knee injuries. Detroit added one of the best RB prospects in this year’s draft in Georgia product D’Andre Swift, but Swift missed nearly two weeks of training camp with a knee injury.

So there is definitely a possibility that Peterson could play a significant role, at least early on in the season as Swift tries to make up for lost time. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press believes Peterson will end up poaching more of Johnson’s expected work than Swift’s, including, perhaps, goal-line touches.

With the Lions, Peterson will reunite with Darrell Bevell, Detroit’s offensive coordinator who served in the same capacity with the Vikings during Peterson’s first four years in Minnesota (when he piled up four Pro Bowl nods and two First Team All-Pro selections). As Peterson told Anderson, “[the Lions are] giving me an opportunity to play. I know Coach Bevell from my days in Minnesota. Ultimately I feel comfortable going there and helping them to get better.”

Peterson, 35, has rushed for 14,216 yards, putting him roughly 1,000 yards behind Barry Sanders for fourth on the NFL’s all-time career list. He might not be the player he once was, but he did average a solid 4.2 yards per carry over the 2018-19 campaigns with Washington. Between him, Johnson, and Swift, the Lions should be able to improve upon the 103.1 rushing yards per game they mustered in 2019, which put them near the bottom third of the league.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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18 comments on “Lions Sign Adrian Peterson

  1. afsooner02

    While it’s a crowded RB room there, half those guys will be hurt by week 2, and like with the redskins, he will be the starter before game 6-8 timeframe.

    ….also means my packers see have to see him again twice (at least). Yippee….least dom capers is gone this time.

  2. The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant

    Lions are hoping that he can WHIP the young kids…into shape.

  3. roddy1018

    I remember when I used this page for breaking news, this news literally broke yesterday and they are just now getting it in the page.

    • Rory Parks

      Appreciate the input, but we were never a breaking news site, always a clearinghouse for legitimate rumors. And the legitimate reporters didn’t have the Peterson signing until this morning. We of course hope to get out the news as quickly as possible, but our goal is to provide complete stories with some substance. Glad to have you reading our stuff.

      • ‘always a clearinghouse for legitimate rumors. And the legitimate reporters didn’t have the Peterson signing until this morning’

        Love you guys and the site, but I disagree here. The site is, and always has been, for rumors, like you say. But the rumors had this signing yesterday. You waited to write something about it until it was 100% confirmed. Why weren’t the rumors of him signing with the Lions, which were apparently accurate, ‘legitimate’?

        This site has always written about practically every rumor under the sun. It’s especially odd when you consider the multitude of Tom Brady posts this past offseason, including the weird and wholly illegitimate rumors of him going places like San Francisco that appeared to be created entirely by Tom Brady’s camp. If anyone in the furthest corners of the internet even breathed about Brady, there was an article about it.

        Anyway, this is very, very light criticism. You guys are the best.

  4. phenomenalajs

    They may have been trying to block the Bears from getting him who may have had a greater need.

    • crosseyedlemon

      It’s an interesting theory but if your strategy is to block the Bears from filling vital needs then your also going to have to sign a kicker, TE, WR, QB and a few OLs.

  5. crosseyedlemon

    I think this is a pretty classy gesture of respect by the Lions although there will no doubt be skeptics who believe Detroit signed AP expressly to ensure he doesn’t pass Barry Sanders on the all-time rushing list.

    • illowa

      Barry Sanders is my favorite Athlete ever. I really like AP too ever since oklahoma and adopted him as my next fav rb after sanders. I didnt mind ap passing barry on the list, but not this way, just not this way! Barry Sanders is the greatest running back ever! I still want 2 more years out of sanders, coulda shoulda woulda. Or let him play behind an oline like the cowboys had. Screw emmitt.

      • crosseyedlemon

        I suspect a lot of Lion fans are going to have similar feelings as you have expressed. Barry is such a class act that he will be supporting AP in this quest. The guys that rank near the top of this list know they are all part of an elite club and they never hide their mutual respect for each other.

  6. thebluemeanie

    As a Lions and Sooners fan, I love this signing! He’ll be a great mentor for the younger guys.

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