Adrian Peterson

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.”

Redskins To Sign Adrian Peterson

The Redskins have agreed to sign running back Adrian Peterson to a one-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Peterson auditioned for the Redskins on Monday morning and it did not take long for a deal to come together. 

Peterson will provide the Redskins with another option in the wake of several running back injuries. The Redskins have lost presumptive starter Derrius Guice to a torn ACL and there are questions about the readyness of Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall for Week 1. The addition of Peterson gives the ‘Skins four healthy backs as he joins Rob KelleyChris Thompson, and Kapri Bibbs on the practice field.

For all of his star power and past accomplishments, it’s hard to say exactly what the Redskins are getting in Peterson. Last year, Peterson averaged just 3.4 yards per carry on 156 rushes between the Saints and Cardinals. While there were flashes of greatness, including two 130-yard games, the Redskins will look for Peterson to prove himself between now and the season opener.

It should be noted that Peterson, 33, has a track record of proving doubters wrong. After missing the majority of the 2014 season, Peterson came roaring back in 2015 to post a league-leading 1,485 yards with 11 rushing TDs.

The Redskins have now become Peterson’s fourth NFL team across 12 NFL seasons. This may be an opportunity for Peterson to further his place in the history books. With four more rushing yards, he’ll pass Marshall Faulk for eleventh on the all-time list. With 37 more, he’ll leapfrog Jim Brown, putting him in the top ten.

Before signing Peterson, the Redskins also worked out fellow running backs Orleans Darkwa and Jamaal Charles. It’s unlikely that the Redskins will sign either player, though deals have not explicitly been ruled out in either case.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Redskins, Woods, Britt, Giants

Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles made plans to visit the Redskins this weekend, following Orleans Darkwa in doing so. This effort to add a piece to a reeling backfield won’t be to bring in a starter but to add depth to a position group that needs it. Jay Gruden said (video link) his team is “covering our bases” in arranging visits with these free agent backs. Being merely a four-year veteran with a light carry history, Darkwa certainly has the most left in the tank. He led the Giants in rushing last season. Peterson, though, has recent experience fitting in quickly with a new team. Although he didn’t do well on a per-carry basis behind a struggling Cardinals offensive line, the future Hall of Fame back posted two 130-plus-yard performances last season — the first of which coming in his initial Cards game. Charles fell out of the Broncos’ rotation late in the season, but the two-time All-Pro made it through last year healthy and performed fairly well (4.3 yards per tote) before being shut down.

Washington lost Derrius Guice and has Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall on the mend. Here’s the latest from some of the Redskins’ rivals, along with news out of the AFC East.

  • Projected to be one of the Cowboys‘ starting safeties, Xavier Woods will be out between three and four weeks because of a hamstring injury, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic tweets. Dallas has been linked to Earl Thomas throughout 2018 and is now examining recently released George Iloka. The Cowboys selected Woods in the sixth round last year and deployed him in four games as a starter.
  • Kenny Britt is still dealing with the hamstring injury he suffered during Patriots minicamp. The veteran wideout has not participated in 11-on-11 drills since that setback, Doug Kyed of NESN.com notes. The Pats removed Britt from the PUP list two weeks ago, and the soon-to-be 30-year-old receiver said he’s feeling OK presently. He declined to predict whether or not he’ll be ready for Week 1. The Patriots signed Britt late last season and picked up his 2018 option in March, but considering how poorly he played with the Browns and his injury status, it wouldn’t be a shock if he’s not on the roster by September. The Pats have endured a turbulent offseason at this position, cutting both Jordan Matthews and Malcolm Mitchell, signing Eric Decker and seeing Julian Edelman incur a four-game PED suspension.
  • The Giants made a change in their sub-package alignment Sunday, swapping in Ray-Ray Armstrong for B.J. Goodson at one of the two linebacker positions, per Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. Armstrong and Alec Ogletree worked as Big Blue’s nickel ‘backers at practice. Armstrong played safety in college and has bounced around in the NFL, seeing action with the Rams, Raiders and 49ers before joining the Giants last year. Pro Football Focus graded both Goodson and Armstrong as poor coverage players last season.

Redskins To Host Adrian Peterson

The Redskins will host free agent running back Adrian Peterson on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Washington is in serious need of backfield depth, especially after losing presumptive starter Derrius Guice to a torn ACL. Meanwhile, Samaje Perine is expected to miss at least a week with an ankle injury, and Byron Marshall could be sidelined for a month with his own ankle issue. The Redskins also waived/injured running back Martez Carter earlier today, leaving them with Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson, and Kapri Bibbs as their only health backs.

Guice was expected to handle early-down work for the Redskins, and that’s a role Peterson can conceivably still handle. However, the 2017 campaign wasn’t Peterson’s finest, as he averaged just 3.4 yards per carry on 156 rushes between the Saints and Cardinals. That was the second-lowest figure league-wide among backs with at least 150 carries, while Peterson also finished 46th among 47 RBs in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, meaning he wasn’t efficient on a per-play basis.

At his best, of course, Peterson is a Hall of Fame-caliber player, and he managed more than 1,400 yards on the ground as recently as 2015. His pass-game deficiencies aside, Peterson could give Washington a Guice replacement, one capable of handling running downs before ceding to Thompson on passing plays.

The Redskins worked out fellow running backs Orleans Darkwa and Jamaal Charles on Sunday, but it doesn’t appear Washington is in a hurry to sign either player, per Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.