Adrian Peterson is a free agent one week before the start of the 2020 NFL season. On Friday, the Washington Football Team released the former NFL MVP after leading the team in rushing the past two seasons. Peterson talked to Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier of 106.7 The Fan and said he was very surprised to hear the news.
"I didn't know that this was happening," Peterson said. "It kind of caught me off guard, kind of blindsided me." Peterson then said he got a call from Washington coach Ron Rivera on Friday morning. "You usually don't get a call at 7 a.m. from the head coach," he said. "So I didn't really think too much, but it was like, uh, I don't know, so I just made it to the building, got my COVID test, went in and had the conversation with him and they (told me) that the team was releasing me."
Peterson, 35, is looking to sign with another team soon. "I still want to play the game, he stated. "That's something I've said for the past couple of years now and I felt like I had a great camp, as far as just learning the new offense and taking everything in and just making those adjustments." One of the reasons Washington let Peterson go is his age. The team is in the process of rebuilding with a new coach and a second-year quarterback and has four running back ages 27 years old or younger. However, as John Keim of ESPN mentioned, Peterson worked with starters all summer and considered a leader.
Peterson is considered one of the best running backs in NFL history. He started his career in 2007 when he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round (No. 7 overall) and quickly became a star. During his rookie season, Peterson rushed for 296 yards in one game which was a single-game NFL record at the time. In 2012, Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards, just nine yards award from Erick Dickerson single-season rushing record.
Peterson was a member of the Vikings until the end of the 2016 season. He then joined the New Orleans Saints in 2017 but was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in the early stages of the year. In 2018, Peterson signed with the Redskins and rushed for 1,042 yards. In 2019, Peterson tallied 898 yards and five touchdowns. In his career, Peterson has been named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro Team seven times. He was named to the 2010s All-Decade Team earlier this year.