Adrian Peterson

Redskins In Talks With Peterson, Scherff

Two key Redskins players, at different points in their respective careers, have engaged in discussions with the team about new deals.

Adrian Peterson has participated in preliminary talks with the Redskins, John Keim of ESPN.com notes, adding Brandon Scherff — under contract via fifth-year option in 2019 — has been in discussions with Washington about his next contract.

Peterson has said on multiple occasions he would like to return to the Redskins. The future Hall of Famer was a free agent throughout the 2018 offseason. Derrius Guice‘s injury led Peterson to Washington, and he responded with his eighth 1,000-yard rushing season. He also played all 16 games for just the second time in the past six seasons, the other being when he won the 2015 rushing title.

Guice, though, is expected to be healthy for the 2019 season. The Redskins also have passing-down back Chris Thompson under contract. Peterson’s skill set would seemingly overlap with Guice’s, but the soon-to-be 34-year-old back is obviously the more proven NFL runner and could be used in a timeshare with the LSU alum.

Scherff’s salary will spike from $6.8MM to $12.5MM this season. An extension would help the Redskins lower that cap number by a bit and help a team that will carry Alex Smith‘s contract in addition to a potential extra veteran starter-level salary, perhaps similar to the Dolphins’ 2017 Ryan TannehillJay Cutler setup.

It’s also possible the Redskins do not look to the veteran market to fill in for Smith. Washington is “looking hard” at quarterback prospects and continues to believe in Colt McCoy, Keim adds, pointing out a cheaper bridge-type option may be the better bet for Washington than a veteran starter.

An upper-echelon guard since coming into the league, Scherff can be expected to command a deal in the neighborhood of the highest-paid guards in the NFL. Zack Martin and Andrew Norwell became the NFL’s first guards to sign for $13MM-plus per year. Washington, though, already has Trent Williams and Morgan Moses signed to high-end deals and holds barely $20MM in cap space. Navigating toward a Scherff extension won’t be easy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Adrian Peterson Wants To Continue Playing

This is the time of year when NFL veterans tend to ponder retirement. That’s not the case for running back Adrian Peterson, however, who turns 34 in March.

[RELATED: Rob Gronkowski To Make Decision Soon]

I’ll be playing next year for sure,” Peterson told TMZ. “Maybe two or three more years.”

Of course, it takes two to tango and there’s no guarantee that the free-agent-to-be will find a home for 2019. Even if he does, few running backs outside Frank Gore have been able to keep it going in the mid-30s.

The Redskins signed Peterson last season after losing rookie Derrius Guice to injury. Peterson silenced the doubters by running for 1,042 yards off of 251 carries, good for a 4.2 yards per carry average. The YPC was his best posting since 2015. He also added seven touchdowns on the ground and 20 catches for 208 yards and one TD over the air.

With nearly 3,000 carries under his belt, and a clear desire for significant playing time, it remains to be seen whether Peterson will find a good fit this offseason. For what it’s worth, there appears to be mutual interest in a new deal in D.C.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Gronkowski, Patriots, Peterson, Schaub, Wright

Rob Gronkowski is arguably the greatest tight end of all time, and as the regular season winds down, we could be seeing the end of Gronk in a Patriots uniform, opines Tom Curran of NBC Sports. Curran breaks down all the drama between Gronkowski and the New England front office regime over the past couple of years, and thinks that the fact that Gronkowski has been severely underpaid for years played the main role in the thawing of the relationship.

Both sides are unhappy with one another, and the Patriots already tried trading Gronkowski this offseason. Given that they already deemed him non-essential before the season began it won’t be at all surprising if they want to move on at the end of the year, and it’s highly possible Gronkowski will want to move on as well, as Curran writes he’s grown tired of the ‘Patriot Way.’ Curran thinks the writing is on the wall that things are coming to an end, and Gronk is having a very disappointing season by his lofty standards. His body has been breaking down, and he hasn’t been his usual game-breaking self most times this season. If it is indeed the end, it’ll be an end of an era in Foxborough.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • On the subject of the Patriots, the team brought in CFL players defensive back Tevaughn Campbell and receiver Jordan Williams-Lambert for workouts, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN (Twitter link). Since CFL players aren’t eligible to be signed until after the season, these workouts are likely for consideration for reserve/futures contracts to be handed out in 2019.
  • While he’s already rewritten the rule book about what a running back can do at his age, Adrian Peterson isn’t done yet. The 33-year-old future Hall of Famer wants to continue playing, and wants to be back with the Redskins next year,per Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com. Signed at the last minute when Derrius Guice went down with a torn ACL, Peterson has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 NFL season, rushing for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s slowed down a bit as the season has gone on, but Washington could bring him back as a veteran mentor and change of pace option behind Guice.
  • Speaking of veterans who want to keep playing, quarterback Matt Schaub hopes to be back with Falcons next year, according to Matt Winkeljohn of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Schaub is aware his NFL career might be coming to an end, as most teams are trending toward having younger players as their backups. But the 37-year-old signal caller, once one of the league’s better starting quarterbacks, hopes to be back in the place where he’s taken on a coach-like role behind Matt Ryan. If he does end up hanging up his cleats, Schaub said he wants to stay “around sports in some form or fashion whether it’s trying to do broadcasting or with an organization somehow.”
  • While the Panthers were officially eliminated from playoff contention in Week 16, at least one player did get some good news. Receiver Jarius Wright got a $200K bonus for hitting his catch incentives, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). So far this season the 2012 fourth round pick out of Arkansas has 41 catches for 427 yards and a touchdown. He should be back in Carolina next year at his $2.5MM salary.

Peterson Wants To Stay With Redskins

In August, the Redskins signed Adrian Peterson to a one-year deal after a rash of injuries to their backfield. Now, Peterson is hoping to continue that arrangement into 2019 and the Redskins also have some interest in a new deal, ESPN.com’s John Keim writes. 

[RELATED: Redskins’ Colt McCoy Suffers Season Ending Injury]

After Week 13, Peterson ranks eighth in the NFL with 856 rushing yards, which isn’t too shabby for a 33-year-old running back. He was actually fifth in the NFL after eight weeks, but his yards per carry average has dipped in recent weeks thanks to a banged up Redskins’ offensive line and a shoulder injury of his own.

All of these factors make it difficult to accurately assess Peterson’s performance. Last night, the Redskins got a glimpse of prime Peterson when he rattled off a 90-yard touchdown run in the second quarter against the Eagles. But, at the same time, he averaged just one yard on his other eight carries. You read that right – on a night where Peterson became the oldest player to rattle off a 90-yard touchdown run, he also failed to reach 100 yards overall.

The Redskins are also expecting Derrius Guice to return healthy in 2019 and still have pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson under contract, so there’s not a real clear need for Peterson. Peterson, in theory, could split time with Guice, but he didn’t take kindly to his limited role in New Orleans and it’s not clear if he’ll be willing to average single-digit carries in 2019.

For what it’s worth, he has the support of at least one teammate.

You look at Guice and he’s one of those backs you could be talking about for a long time,” said Redskins left tackle Trent Williams. “He could benefit tremendously from Adrian. With Adrian showing how much he has left in the tank, I don’t know if he’d want to come back and waste away his final seasons as a mentor when he could be adding to his legacy somewhere. He could still be the guy.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Lang, Wright, Cravens, Peterson

Lions offensive guard T.J. Lang is still in the concussion protocol after having suffered his sixth career brain injury, but the team is still expecting the veteran to be back at some point this season. The 31-year-old was even in the building last week helping the team prepare for their matchup against his former team, the Packers.

“He was in the room to be able to talk through some of the Green Bay stuff,” offensive line coach Jeff Davidson told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I try to talk to him about some of the personnel things that he knows. That’s the only thing I had to do as far as commenting on T.J. Looking forward to him going forward.”

The offensive lineman previously said that he’ll continue to play football as long as his body holds up. Lang has also dealt with back, ankle and shoulder injuries during his tenure in Detroit.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • While there’s still optimism surrounding Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright‘s return to the field, it won’t happen this weekend. ESPN’s Brady Henderson writes that the veteran will miss this weekend’s London matchup against the Raiders. Wright is still recovering from knee surgery, and head coach Pete Carroll said there’s no use in rushing him back. “He’ll run all throughout the week,” said Carroll. “It’s going to be too much to ask of him to get him back this game. I think we’ve got to make sure and take care of him and get him strong and confident and all that … I think we just need to maximize his opportunity to be at full strength, really recovered and confident and all that.”
  • Su’a Cravens is currently sitting on the injured reserve with a knee injury, but Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets that the Broncos safety is expected to return to practice next week. The 23-year-old is eligible to return following his team’s game against the Rams this weekend, and the organization will have three weeks to activate him. The 2016 second-round pick was acquired from the Redskins back in March, and he’ll be looking to crack a depth chart that already includes Darian StewartJustin Simmons, and Will Parks.
  • There seemed to be a difference in opinions when it came to Adrian Peterson‘s injury. ESPN’s John Keim tweets that the Redskins running back described the injury as a dislocation, while head coach Jay Gruden simply referred to it as a strain. Peterson underwent an MRI earlier today, and the tests ultimately revealed a strain (via USA Today’s Mike Jones on Twitter). The 33-year-old has compiled 242 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 60 carries this season.

Redskins Rumors: Peterson, Galette, Cap

Neither Daniel Snyder nor Redskins president Bruce Allen knew about the team’s decision to bring Adrian Peterson in for a workout. Instead, VP of player personnel Doug Williams and football operations president Eric Shaffer moved forward with the audition that quickly led to Peterson signing and then reclaiming an NFL starting gig.

(Shaffer) looked and me and said, ‘Well, what do you think, what do we got to lose?’” Williams said during a radio interview with the Team 980’s Doc Walker (via the Washington Post). “I’m a little hesitant to pull the plug, and then before I went out to practice I looked at Eric and said, ‘Hey Eric, what the heck? Let’s do it.’

The thing about that, I came to practice, I was so hyped about it that I forgot to tell Bruce that we was bringing him in. I’m sitting there that evening and Bruce came in my office and he just stood there looking at me. I’m thinking, ‘What’d I do?’ Well, Dan had called him and let him know he didn’t know. And Bruce let me know that he didn’t know because Dan didn’t know. I said, ‘Well look, that’s on me.’ I took it. Sometimes you have to have big shoulders, you take it and you move on.”

Williams arranged the workout for Monday, at a time when the Redskins were searching for available backs, and Peterson signed for the veteran minimum later that day. Peterson is thriving with Washington, his fourth NFL team; his 236 yards are fourth among players who’ve played just three games. He scored twice and rushed for a season-high 120 yards (6.3 per carry) in the Redskins’ 31-17 Week 3 win over the Packers.

Here’s the latest out of the nation’s capital:

  • Unless the Redskins see a member of their edge-rushing contingent suffer a setback, don’t look for them to bring back Junior Galette. Redskins brass is comfortable with its quartet of Ryan Kerrigan, Pernell McPhee, Preston Smith and Ryan AndersonRich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington notes. Galette’s expressed regret he turned down a Washington offer, for what the veteran pass rusher says was for two years and $10MM, this offseason. The Redskins informed him during free agency they were moving in a different direction. A Rams visit also did not produce a deal. After two season-nullifying injuries, Galette played in 16 Washington games last season and recorded three sacks. Of the aforementioned incumbents, only Anderson has a sack this season.
  • Washington would like this season to be a redshirt campaign for third-round pick Geron Christian. Jay Gruden said this week (per Tandler) he would like the rookie offensive linemen to learn this season. Christian has not been active on a game day yet, and the Redskins’ offensive line hasn’t encountered the injury trouble it did in 2017.
  • Although Washington has not made Caleb Brantley part of any of its 46-man Sunday rosters, the team views the young defensive lineman as a rotational piece down the line, Tandler adds. The Browns waived Brantley after one season. He played in 12 games as a rookie, starting one, and registered two sacks and a fumble recovery. Washington’s receiving strong play from its defensive line thus far, making opportunities for the second-year newcomer scarce.
  • One of the ways Washington can increase its cap space next year (projected total of $25MM) would be by cutting Josh Norman. While that line of thinking surfaced over the summer, Tandler writes it may behoove the team to keep its top corner in the fold for another season. A Norman release would save Washington $8.5MM but also stick the franchise with $6MM in dead money. Washington ranks second in total defense thus far and moved on from Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this offseason. Norman’s working with Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moreau now.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Eagles, Ealy, Ward

Adrian Peterson spent several months in free agency before landing with Washington recently. Although the Redskins did not fare especially well in a loss to the Broncos on Friday night, their 33-year-old running back showed he still has something left. Peterson is now a “stone-cold lock” to make the Redskins’ roster, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington writes. While the future Hall of Fame back was brought in because of injuries to Derrius Guice, Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall, Tandler views Peterson as having usurped Marshall for a spot on Washington’s 53-man roster. Peterson amassed 56 yards on 11 carries in his Redskins debut. Tandler expects Washington to retain four running backs but doesn’t rule out the prospect of five surviving the post-preseason cuts.

Here’s more out of the nation’s capital and the latest from some of the Redskins’ rivals.

  • Thanks to Jonathan Allen‘s return and the arrival of his former Alabama teammate, Da’Ron Payne, Washington is deeper on the defensive line than it was last season. But Tandler expects one of the Redskins’ cogs up front to begin the season on the PUP list. Stacy McGee underwent groin surgery earlier this summer and was not expected to be ready for Week 1. A spot on the Reserve/PUP list will shelve McGee for six regular-season weeks.
  • Former Redskins starter Matt Jones looks to have played himself out of consideration for an Eagles backup job, with Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com handicapping the race for Philadelphia’s No. 4 running back job as a head-to-head battle between third-year player Wendell Smallwood and rookie UDFA Josh Adams. Shorr-Parks views Donnel Pumphrey, a 2017 fourth-rounder who missed all of last season, as third behind Smallwood — whom the Eagles are still intrigued by — and Adams in this race for work behind Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and Corey Clement. An Adams cut will likely result in another team claiming him, since the Eagles had to give him one of the largest UDFA guarantees any team authorized in this year’s post-draft signing period.
  • The Cowboys‘ move of Kony Ealy to defensive tackle may not be enough to save his roster spot. Dallas is deeper up front this year, and although Ealy was a 2018 UFA signing, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the former Panthers second-round pick off the 53-man roster. Former Dallas waiver claim Brian Price resides in front of Ealy, in Hill’s view, for a roster spot. Ealy signed a one-year, $1.25MM contract, with a $200K signing bonus, in April. Also lost in the shuffle here is recent Cowboys trade acquisition Jihad Ward, who Hill doesn’t see making the roster. Both of these former second-round picks will at least need to show well in Dallas’ final two preseason games to have a shot.
  • One of the Eagles‘ 2018 UDFAs, safety Stephen Roberts, did not last until the final cut. Philly waived the Auburn product earlier Saturday, and this came after the defending Super Bowl champions guaranteed $52K of his base salary, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (Twitter link). That amount was one of the highest guarantees allotted to any UDFA this year, so it’s possible Roberts will generate some waiver-wire attention.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Eagles, Giants

Adrian Peterson just signed with the Redskins on Tuesday, but head coach Jay Gruden wants to get the veteran back on the field for Friday’s preseason game against the Broncos, as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes. While Gruden didn’t fully commit to Peterson seeing the field, he did say Washington will attempt to get Peterson “up to speed” before Friday. The Redskins are dealing with multiple injuries at the running back position, so Peterson will compete to handle early-down work that would have gone to second-round rookie Derrius Guice, who tore his ACL earlier in the preseason.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • The Eagles will likely release linebacker Corey Nelson prior to the regular season, not only because he’s been outplayed during camp and the preseason, but because doing so will net a Philadelphia a sixth-round compensatory pick, according to Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice. The NFL’s comp pick process is based on complicated cancellation charts that track how many free agents each team gained or lost. If Nelson is cut before the season (or anytime prior to Week 10), he’ll be removed from the comp pick formula, and therefore open up a sixth-round pick for the Eagles (in exchange for losing corner Patrick Robinson in free agency). Philadelphia would also pick up $1MM in cap space by releasing Nelson, although they’d take on $600K in dead money.
  • With a room full of injured running backs, the Giants added free agent runner Jhurell Pressley earlier this week. But New York also worked out fellow back Jahad Thomas on Monday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Thomas, 22, went undrafted out of Temple in 2017, but landed a contract with the Cowboys and then spent the majority of the regular season on the Jets’ practice squad. Thomas, who was briefly on the Winnipeg Bombers’ (CFL) roster earlier this summer, averaged 4.6 yards per carry and scored 30 total touchdowns over his final two collegiate seasons.
  • After winning the Super Bowl in 2017, the Eagles returned much of their loaded roster and added more depth. Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com runs down the projected 53-man squad and potential roster cuts.

Adrian Peterson’s Redskins Deal Is For League Minimum

Adrian Peterson has earned a boatload of money over the years, but his 2018 season won’t be all that lucrative. Peterson’s one-year deal with the Redskins is for the veteran’s minimum of $1.015MM, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Per the terms of the CBA, that deal will count for just $630K against the cap.

Peterson’s deal also comes without guarantees, so he’ll have to make the Week 1 roster in order to earn his salary. With three weeks to go before the regular season, that’s not exactly a sure thing either. The Redskins say Peterson was not signed as a reaction to lead rusher Derrius Guice‘s injury, but rather because of recent injuries to Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall. If both players are ready in time for the season opener and Peterson does not impress, there might not be a place for him in D.C.

In addition to Perine and Marshall, the Redskins also have lead rusher Robert Kelley, pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson, and Kapri Bibbs under contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reactions To Adrian Peterson Signing

We learned earlier today the Redskins were signing running back Adrian Peterson, and the team officially announced the transaction this evening. The future Hall of Famer struggled to gain much interest from NFL teams this offseason, so he’s naturally looking forward to returning to the field.

“I’m excited,” Peterson told Jake Kring-Schreifels of Redskins.com. “It’s been a long offseason but I’ve been keeping my body in shape and [I’m] ready for this opportunity. So when this opportunity presented itself, I was just excited.”

The 33-year-old also acknowledged it was difficult waiting around for a team to sign him, as the veteran had failed to generate any reported interest after being released by the Cardinals.

“I would be lying to you if I said [the offseason] wasn’t tough, because you’re human,” Peterson said. “I’ve seen guys come through that door and guys go through this process. I had a great appreciation for it. But me knowing what I had left in the tank, that was the only thing bothering me. But I knew in due time the opportunity would present itself.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes following Peterson’s signing…

  • ESPN.com’s John Keim writes that rookie Derrius Guice‘s injury wasn’t what led to Peterson’s signing. Rather, it was recent injuries to Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall that necessitated the move. Head coach Jay Gruden had previously stated that he wasn’t searching for a starting running back following Guice’s season-ending injury, and Keim believes the Peterson signing was simply the team’s attempt to be “proactive and aggressive when it comes to replacing injured players.” Of course, on the flip side, Keim also opines that the team wouldn’t have signed a player of Peterson’s caliber if they weren’t going to give him a crack at the starting gig.
  • Peterson is best when running in a gap scheme, allowing him to draw lineman to the middle before running to the outside. However, Mark Bullock of the Washinton Post opines that Peterson won’t be as successful when operating in the Redskins’ scheme, which relies on inside and outside zone running plays. Quarterback Alex Smith is also expected to function out of the shotgun formation, and Peterson hasn’t been as successful with these plays. Factor in Peterson’s lack of production in the passing game, and Bullock believes the running back may not be the best fit for Washington.
  • Even with Peterson joining the Redskins, Rob Kelley is expected to sit atop the running depth chart, writes Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press. Gruden has only indicated that third-down back Chris Thompson will have a definitive role, meaning Kelley, Peterson, or any of the other healthy backs could end up playing a major role in the running game. For what it’s worth, Kelley is ready for the competition. “There’s competition whether you think it or not,” Kelley said. “I just make sure I go out there and I make a few plays that the catch the coaches’ eyes and stuff like that and put myself in a great position.”