Adrian Peterson is 35 years old, with a running style that isn’t all that effective in today’s NFL, yet he feels blindsided by the Washington Football Team’s decision to release him.
Peterson did rush for a solid 4.3 yards per carry last season, and did so with one of the worst quarterback situations of any team in the league not doing him any favors. But it’s hard to see him replicating that level of production again this season.
And, most importantly, his skill set is a bit limiting, in terms of what moves the needle in today’s NFL. He struggles in pass protection, and he can’t catch the ball out of the backfield, so third down isn’t a situation for him. And when he’s on the field, opposing defenses know what’s likely coming — a run inside the tackles. It’s not all that difficult to stop.
But he recently went on a bit of a rant about how “shocking” it was that he was released, during an appearance on 106.7 The Fan (Washington D.C.).
“Just normal routine — did my tests, went in and talked to him and he was just like, ‘This is always tough,’” Peterson said, as transcribed by the Washington Post. “When he said that, already I knew what it was. One thing you don’t want to hear is ‘This is always tough.’”
“But when the ones were called up or we did our team practice at the stadium, I was up with the ones and did two-minute and all that,” he said. “So it was shocking to me, to say the least. It was shocking because I just didn’t see that sign of it being, ‘Okay, you’re going to be released.’ Maybe a diminished role within the offense. Maybe some games you’re used more, 15, 16 carries or whatever.”
It’s not shocking to most NFL analysts, but the Washington Football Team probably could’ve handled the situation better by releasing him earlier.