The Adrian Peterson signing brings stability to a key role for the Detroit Lions.
If you can’t stop him, sign him. That’s exactly what the Detroit Lions plan on doing as they are reportedly signing former Lion killer and hall of fame running back Adrian Peterson. The guy who has run for more yards against Detroit than anyone in NFL history.
There’s some fan backlash towards the signing, not because of that record he holds. But because they don’t want to see an aging Peterson take snaps away from two young second-round picks in D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson.
That is not a concern of mine though. If Swift and Johnson are healthy and playing well they’ll get almost if not all the touches they would have otherwise.
The biggest reason I presume general manager Bob Quinn took a shot at the moon for Peterson is their current primary power-back health status. Bo Scarbrough has been suffering through an undisclosed injury almost the entire training camp thus far and barely practiced.
Peterson isn’t here to cut into Swift or Johnson’s snaps, he’s here to take over the power-back role in what was already going to be a running back by committee approach. But it’s definitely added value that if either high injury-risk RB1-A or RB1-B is out of commission he can fill that role too.
You may think why a washed-up 35-year-old Peterson for that role. But in the past two seasons, he’s only missed one game and carried a 4.2 and 4.3 yards per rush average on 251 and 211 attempts. All behind a poor Washington offensive line.
That kind of stability and production in the downhill short-yardage back role is very important in offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s scheme.
It’s also a role Johnson and Swift shouldn’t fill consistently with their size and running styles. Being the injury-risks they are – you really don’t want them trying to either.
The icing on the cake is not only is it a fit great for an NFL great a little past his prime … it’s all on a team-friendly contract.
The deal is only one-year with a 1.05M base salary and 1.25M worth in incentives that are based in yards and touchdowns that could add up to 2.3M, according to NBC Sports. On par with what the Lions have paid for their power-backs recently – like LeGarrette Blount’s 1-yr/2M deal two years ago or C.J. Anderson’s 1-yr/1.5M deal last year.
It’s normal to want to protect your emotions in these situations. The reality rarely ever lives up to the dream when your favorite team signs a former superstar at the end of his ropes. But I think the Peterson experience will be a positive and productive one for the Lions, himself, and the other running backs on this team.