Adrian Peterson

NFC Notes: Ginn, Peterson, Eagles, Giants

Ted Ginn Jr. will enter the 2020 season as the league’s second-oldest wide receiver, behind Larry Fitzgerald, and the 35-year-old veteran did not find a new team until after the draft. But the Bears may have big plans for the veteran speed merchant. Ginn will likely be the outside starter opposite Allen Robinson, Adam Caplan of InsidetheBirds.com notes. The Bears entered the offseason concerned about their speed on offense, wanting more help beyond Tarik Cohen in that department. Ginn remains one of the NFL’s fastest receivers and may well be on the verge of starting for a fifth NFL team. After missing most of the Saints’ 2018 season, Ginn caught 30 passes for 421 yards in 2019.

The Bears also have 2019 draftee Riley Ridley, he of a 4.61-second 40-yard dash clocking at the Combine, and 2020 pick Darnell Mooney. The latter profiles as more intriguing through a speed lens, having blazed to a 4.38-second time this year. But thanks to the virtual offseason, Day 3 picks might have a tougher time acclimating than the already-difficult college-to-NFL jump brings.

Here is the latest from the NFC:

  • In the same piece, Caplan notes the expectation remains the Eagles will add a veteran to their running back corps. Philly has been linked to LeSean McCoy and Devonta Freeman. Both remain free agents. The Eagles pursued Carlos Hyde as well, but he opted for a Seahawks deal. If the Eagles determine they do not need help behind Miles Sanders, Boston Scott‘s pass-catching ability intrigued coaches last season more than his “OK” run-game chops, Caplan adds. Scott would be in line to be the team’s RB2, were it to stand pat at this spot.
  • Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but Adrian Peterson has no near-future retirement plans. The new play-until number is age 39, the running back told TMZ. Peterson’s Redskins contract expires at season’s end. Peterson (14,216 career rushing yards) is within striking distance of Barry Sanders (15,269) for fourth on the all-time rushing list this season, and if he is granted a 15th season in 2021, he would likely be a good bet to pass the Hall of Famer like Frank Gore did last season. Though, Sanders amassed that total in 10 seasons.
  • The Giants placed a second-round tender on kicker Aldrick Rosas this offseason, but after his arrest for an alleged hit and run, Rosas can probably be considered on thin ice. The fourth-year specialist should be considered unlikely to be Big Blue’s kicker this season, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. There are plenty of kickers in free agency. Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Succop and Nick Folk are among the best available.

NFC East Notes: Baker, Redskins, Jeffery

DeAndre Baker‘s future with the Giants is up in the air after his arrest on eight charges stemming from an alleged armed robbery earlier this month. The Giants have told the cornerback to stay away from their offseason activities, but since they are unfolding in a virtual capacity, such a stance has a less noticeable effect. And Baker scored a victory this week. A judge approved a request by Baker’s attorney that will allow the second-year cornerback to leave the state, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. This would allow Baker to travel from Florida to New Jersey for Giants training camp. The Giants have kept Baker away from their voluntary virtual offseason since the incident but banning him from mandatory training camp would be a suspension. The team has not crossed that bridge yet.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, moving first to some of the happenings involving Washington’s offense:

  • Ron Rivera has said a shortened training camp would work in Kyle Allen‘s favor due to the recently acquired quarterback’s knowledge of Redskins OC Scott Turner‘s system. On Wednesday, however, Turner praised Dwayne Haskins‘ work during the team’s virtual program. “When we’re talking to him [on Zoom sessions], he’s speaking the language,” Turner said, via ESPN’s John Keim. “It’s pretty easy to tell if they get it or not. Dwayne’s doing a great job. You can tell he’s putting the work in away from the meeting time.” Being drafted by a different regime and having finished with Football Outsiders’ worst QBR figure last season, Haskins is already facing a critical season as he begins work under Rivera and Turner.
  • The Redskins signed Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic and drafted hybrid-type player Antonio Gibson in Round 3. They also employ Derrius Guice and Bryce Love, both of whom coming off injuries. Adrian Peterson‘s spot in Washington is not a given, despite the future Hall of Famer leading the Redskins in rushing the past two years. But Turner said (via NBC Sports Washington’s J.P. Finlay, on Twitter) he has “a ton” of respect for Peterson and that there is a role in his offense for “that type of back.” Peterson has never offered too much in the passing game, having not exceeded 300 receiving yards in a season since 2010. But the 35-year-old back surpassed four yards per carry in each of his two Washington seasons.
  • Coming off a Lisfranc injury, Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffery may not be ready for the season. Both Zach Berman and Bo Wulf of The Athletic (subscription required) expect the ninth-year wideout to start the year on the PUP list. This would shelve Jeffery for at least six weeks to start the season. The Eagles have shopped Jeffery in trades since last season and made several moves to add wideouts last month. But Jeffery’s contract makes a trade hard to envision.

Release Candidate: Redskins RB Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson has big plans for 2020. The 35-year-old is 1,054 rushing yards away from passing Barry Sanders on the league’s all-time board and he believes that he might have enough gas in the tank to overtake Emmitt Smith’s No. 1 position. In February, the Redskins exercised his option for 2020, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the veteran will be in D.C. this year. 

[RELATED: Redskins’ Latimer Makes Court Appearance]

Peterson was already facing backfield competition from Derrius Guice and Bryce Love when the Redskins picked up his option, but the RB depth chart became even more crowded in the spring. First, the Redskins signed former Buc Peyton Barber to a two-year, $3MM free agent deal. Then, in April, they used a third-round pick to select Antonio Gibson out of Memphis. Gibson, a young and sure-handed playmaker, more or less has his roster spot cemented. That leaves no more than three – and, possibly, only two – running back spots up for grabs. Peterson, one of the most electrifying rushers the game has ever seen, could be the odd man out.

Peterson is set to earn $2.25MM in base pay this year, but the Redskins can drop him without much fiscal penalty. Cutting Peterson would leave the Redskins with just $750K in dead money, versus $2.48MM in savings. Would that be the smart move? There’s a case to be made in both directions. Peterson offers veteran leadership for the Redskins’ inexperienced backfield and could serve as a safety net for Guice if the former LSU star gets sidelined again. He’s also delivered for the last two years in D.C., despite the skeptics who said he was washed up. Between 2018 and 2019, Peterson has averaged a solid 4.2 yards per carry while suited up for 31 of a possible 32 games.

Ultimately, we expect the Redskins to do what’s best for business. Or, at least, what they think will be best for business. If the rest of the Redskins’ RB room stays healthy through training camp, Peterson could easily wind up on the curb this summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Exercise Adrian Peterson’s Option

The Redskins announced that they have exercised Adrian Peterson‘s option for the 2020 season. With that, they’ve committed to the legendary running back for his age-35 campaign. 

[RELATED: Greg Olsen Turns Down Redskins, Signs With Seahawks]

Peterson will count for a $3.1MM hit against the Redskins’ 2020 cap. Had they declined the option, the Redskins would have saved $2.4MM.

In 2020, Peterson will be chasing history. He currently sits fifth on the NFL’s all-time rushing list and he can leapfrog Barry Sanders with another ~1,000 yards. That won’t be easy to do, but Peterson ran for 1,042 yards in his first season with the Redskins and notched 898 yards on the ground last year.

Peterson has had his ups and downs, but he staved off Father Time in 2019. Last year, he played in 15 games and averaged 4.3 yards per tote. At the same time, Derrius Guice was limited to just five games and there are serious question marks about his status given his longstanding medical history.

Bringing back Peterson solves one part of the Redskins’ RB puzzle. They still have to figure out what they’ll do with pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson, who is slated for free agency. The Redskins will also have to keep an eye on 2019 fourth-round pick Bryce Love who has yet to play an NFL down thanks to his pre-draft ACL tear.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins To Keep Adrian Peterson?

It’s not a sure thing just yet, but the Redskins are likely to exercise Adrian Peterson‘s option for the 2020 season, according to a source that spoke with ESPN.com’s John Keim. If the option is triggered, Peterson will count for a $3.1MM cap hit. If they decline it, they’ll save $2.4MM. 

[RELATED: James Bradberry Eyeing Redskins?]

Despite his advanced age, Peterson has been one of the Redskins’ most durable players in recent seasons. That’s key, especially given the question marks surrounding the health of Derrius Guice. The LSU product is immensely talented, but he’s undergone three knee surgeries over the last couple of years.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Redskins’ RB room is in flux – pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson is ticketed for free agency and 2019 fourth-round pick Bryce Love has yet to play thanks to a pre-draft ACL tear.

Peterson, a four-time first-team All-Pro, has averaged more than 4.0 yards per carry for the Redskins. He’s also racked up quite an odometer – Peterson has carried the ball 3,036 times over the course of 13 seasons. In March, he’ll celebrate his 35th birthday, though he has expressed a desire to play up until the age of 40.

Currently fifth on the NFL’s all-time rushing list, Peterson is 1,000 yards shy of toppling Barry Sanders for No. 4.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Peterson Can See Playing Until Age 40

Adrian Peterson has consistently said he wants to push the boundaries for his position and play into the next decade. At the conclusion of his 13th season, the 34-year-old running back set a loftier goal.

I can see myself playing to 40,” Peterson said, via NFL.com’s Jane Slater (Twitter link). “People look at that and say, ‘oh my god; that’s crazy.’ But they’ve been doing that for the past two years and surprise, surprise I’m still able to do it at a high level.”

A three-time rushing champion and four-time first-team All-Pro, Peterson has found a home with the Redskins after a lengthy stay in free agency. The future Hall of Famer has rushed for 1,862 yards and 12 touchdowns in two Washington seasons, averaging north of 4.0 yards per carry in each. Peterson is sitting on 842 yards this year, one when the Redskins again saw top running back Derrius Guice battle injuries.

The Redskins signed Peterson to a two-year, $5.03MM deal in March. Guice’s issues may well prompt Washington to bring Peterson back for 2020.

Playing even into his late 30s will be a lofty goal. Thirty-seven has been the ceiling for true tailbacks, with Marcus Allen being the most recent to get there. Allen, though, saw his role minimized in his final Raiders seasons and was part of a committee with the Chiefs. He logged 3,022 carries in 16 seasons; Peterson is at 3,023 in Year 13. Frank Gore could well play into his age-37 season, however; he’s at 3,542 totes.

Peterson sits fifth on the league’s all-time rushing list — two spots behind Gore. He needs over 1,000 more yards to move past Barry Sanders for fourth. While getting to 40 seems highly unrealistic, Peterson looks to exit this season in better shape than he did in 2016 or ’17. A knee injury slowed him during his final Minnesota slate, and he spent 2017 in New Orleans and Arizona, finishing that season on IR before a five-month free agency stay. Peterson, however, has missed just one game in two Washington seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Eagles, Haskins, Jets, Giants

With the Giants both buying and hoping to sell at this year’s deadline, after making their first trade with the Jets, here’s the latest from the NFC East with barely 24 hours remaining for 2019 trade talks:

  • Now that the Eagles are back at .500, they are considering being buyers before Tuesday afternoon’s trade deadline. After their double-digit win in Buffalo, the Eagles could be in play for “something fun” before this year’s deadline, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The Eagles have been linked to cornerbacks, being the Jalen Ramsey silver medalists, and may be in need at wide receiver. Although, Doug Pederson said DeSean Jackson is expected to practice this week.
  • Adrian Peterson may or may not have directly addressed Dwayne Haskins‘ performance issues with the rookie quarterback, with Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reporting the veteran Redskins running back told Haskins after Thursday night’s loss to study the playbook more thoroughly (video link). While not denying he went to Haskins directly, Peterson addressed the matter on Twitter by saying he believes in the first-round prospect. In two relief appearances, Haskins has thrown no touchdown passes and four interceptions this season.
  • The conditional 2021 fifth-rounder the Giants dealt to the Jets for Leonard Williams would become a fourth-rounder if the G-Men extend Williams before free agency, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes. While the Giants may have a wink-wink agreement in place with Williams, in order to sign him after the start of the 2020 league year to preserve that fourth-round pick, that’s far from certain — especially for a player who has struggled in recent years.
  • While the Giants acquired Williams, they are also looking unload Janoris Jenkins and Alec Ogletree.

Redskins’ Peterson, Norman To Play

Redskins running back Adrian Peterson will have a chance to exact revenge on his old friends in Minnesota, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Peterson was dealing with some ankle issues, but he will be active for the team’s Thursday night matchup against the Vikings. 

Peterson was listed as questionable, but earlier today, he vowed to “bite down” and play through it. That’s not great news for the Vikings, especially since Peterson will be coming in with extra motivation. He might not be the AD of old, but he’s still an effective rusher coming off of two quality games. He ran for 118 yards against the struggling Dolphins and followed up that effort with a solid 4+ yards per carry against the Niners.

On the other side of the ball, cornerback Josh Norman will play, despite dealing with some thigh and hand pain. That’s notable for obvious reasons, but also because Norman’s name has been bandied about in trade speculation. The Redskins continue to reject calls about Trent Williams, but they’re reportedly open to moving Norman and his sizable contract.

Norman joined the Redskins on a $15MM/year deal back in 2016, but, so far, he has not matched the production of his Carolina years. Norman graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 50 corner last season. This year, his 50.0 overall score has him at No. 98 among CBs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Solder, Jenkins, Redskins

Stonewalled by the Redskins in Trent Williams talks, the Browns reportedly have interest in acquiring left tackle Nate Solder from the Giants. Solder, however, doesn’t seem to have any interest in leaving New York — not that he’d necessarily have any say in the matter. “I love being here, I love this group of guys and I love this team,” Solder said when asked about the trade rumors, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. Solder signed a four-year, $62MM deal with the Giants just last year, but given Big Blue’s 2-5 record, they could conceivably be open to moving the veteran. Cleveland, for its part, seems intent in trading for an offensive tackle before next week’s deadline and has reportedly contacted other NFC East clubs.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Speaking of Giants who could be on the move in the next week, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY spoke with NFL scouts and executives about what certain New York players could be worth via trade. By all accounts, cornerback Janoris Jenkins is the most likely Giant to be dealt, and Vacchiano speculates the veteran defensive back could reap a third- or fourth-round pick. Linebacker Alec Ogletree, wide receiver Golden Tate, and even tight end Evan Engram could all be candidates to be traded if New York decides to embark on a full rebuild.
  • Adrian Peterson is hoping to face his former team when the Redskins go up against the Vikings on Thursday night football, but he’s currently wearing the “questionable” label for Week 8, as John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. The veteran running back suffered multiple ankle sprains against the 49ers on Sunday, but he told Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that he feels “good” and wants to play. Peterson, who’s posted 307 yards on 83 carries this year, was a limited participant at Wednesday’s practice session.
  • Giants wideout Sterling Shepard put in a limited practice today, per Vacchiano (Twitter link). Still, it’s unclear whether he’ll be ready to go when New York faces Detroit on Sunday. Shepard hasn’t played since Week 5 after suffering a concussion, and he’s actually suffered two brain injuries already this year. Given that the Giants aren’t contenders, they may continue to hold Shepard out with his long-term health in mind.

NFC Notes: Inactives, Peterson, Evans, Jones

Adrian Peterson will not suit up vs. the Eagles today, as Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com report. Redskins coach Jay Gruden has made it clear that Derrius Guice will be the starter and handle most of the rushing work.

Some of Peterson’s teammates aren’t happy that he’s a healthy scratch, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The future Hall-of-Famer is regarded by some as the best back on the team and many members of the Redskins believed that come week 1, the question would be how many carries Guice would be taking away from Peterson and not whether Peterson would be suiting up.

Washington gave Peterson a $1.5MM signing bonus and another $1MM to re-sign with the club this offseason. No word if the team has plans to trade or release him.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • TE Jordan Reed is among the other inactives for the Redskins, John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. QB Colt McCoy will also not suit up.
  • Mike Evans and Devin White will both play for the Buccaneers today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). The pair were listed as questionable heading into the contest will illnesses.
  • CB Byron Jones won’t start for the Cowboys today, Schefter adds in a separate tweet. Jones will play, but he’ll be limited as he is still recovering from offseason hip surgery.
  • RT Marcus Gilbert will not play for the Cardinals today, as Darren Urban relays on the team’s website. Gilbert is nursing a knee injury.