The Adrian Peterson era in New Orleans lasted all of four games. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that the veteran running back had been traded to the Arizona Cardinals.
The Saints signed Peterson to a two-year, $7 million contract in April — including a $2.8 million signing bonus that will be paid entirely by New Orleans — but it has become increasingly clear that the 32-year-old was not going to be an integral part of the team’s offense. Peterson received only 27 carries over four games and is averaging 3.0 yards per rush. In New Orleans’s last game, on Oct. 1 against the Miami Dolphins in London, he carried the ball only four times for four yards. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, the Saints’ other two running backs of note, combined for 19 carries while also getting involved in the team’s passing game with 14 combined receptions against the Dolphins.
“I’m so ecstatic,” Peterson texted NFL Network’s Stacey Dales after the trade.
The Cardinals’ running game has been all but nonexistent since starter David Johnson broke his wrist in Week 1. Arizona is averaging only 20 rushing attempts per game, which ties it for the NFL low with the New York Giants, and its running backs are gaining an NFL-worst 2.6 yards per rush. The Cardinals’ offensive line certainly isn’t doing its part to clear a path:
Peterson ranks 16th on the NFL’s career rushing list with 11,828 yards and sits behind only the Indianapolis Colts’ Frank Gore among active players, but he played in only four games in the 2014 and 2016 seasons combined, the former because of a suspension over child-abuse charges and the latter because of knee injuries.
The Cardinals are getting Peterson on the cheap:
The Cardinals will make room for Peterson by cutting another 32-year-old running back from their roster: Chris Johnson, who has started three games this season but is averaging just 2.5 yards per carry.
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