Lions Sign Former NFL MVP Runner to Roster: Report

Adrian Peterson

Getty Adrian Peterson celebrates in Washington.

The Detroit Lions have been a longtime rival of Adrian Peterson given his days running with the Minnesota Vikings, and now, he has landed in the Motor City.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Lions are signing Peterson to a 1 year deal for the 2020 season. Recently cut in Washington in a surprise move, Peterson was looking for a team to land with a team ahead of this year and Detroit gave him a soft landing.

As Peterson explained to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, he feels comfortable given the chance he is getting in Detroit, especially with Darrell Bevell as his offensive coordinator.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the deal will be $1.5 million for Peterson in Detroit, including incentives.

Naturally, the connection with Bevell, who was his offensive coordinator early in his career, loomed large. Interestingly, the Lions have a loaded running back room with Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift, and Peterson coming into the mix. Finding a balance of carries could be the biggest issue the Lions have, but clearly, the runner isn’t worried.


Adrian Peterson Stats

In his career, Peterson has been one of the more productive backs in football. The 2012 NFL MVP stuck with the Vikings from 2007-2016, then landing with the Saints and Cardinals and finally in Washington for the last 2 seasons. Peterson is a lock to be in the Hall of Fame soon once his career ends given his exploits. The former Oklahoma Sooner is also a 7 time Pro Bowl player and a 4 time first team All-Pro runner as well.

This season, Peterson could make NFL history with the Lions. Peterson’s 14,216 career rushing yards currently ranks fifth all-time, and he trails Barry Sanders’ 15,269 yards. That means Peterson could surpass Sanders this season if he rushes for 1,054 yards at the age of 35 in Detroit.

It would be an interesting post script if Peterson was to play the last years of his career with the Lions and manage to surpass Sanders. That’s especially true given his standing as a long time Lions rival and classic tormentor.


Lions Loaded at Running Back

Detroit has a solid player on their team currently in Kerryon Johnson that they are developing. Johnson, however, has run into a few issues with injuries the last few years, so the team was looking for someone else that can be a solid running mate for Johnson moving forward. On the roster, Bo Scarbrough showed late last season that he could be a potential answer for the team in addition to Ty Johnson, but still, the Lions were looking for someone else to build around. That’s why they felt as if they may want to target the draft, which is where D’Andre Swift came in. The team has done a nice job to upgrade the backfield with the right amount of youth, but Peterson adds some veteran punch to be sure.

Now that the Lions have managed to add another running back and some pounding offensive linemen, the team is seemingly on the right track toward fixing one of their biggest problems of the last few years, and are deep at the position.

It will be fascinating to see where Peterson ranks in this system, which now seems more likely than ever to be a major committee approach.

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