As the NFL world prepares to open training camps within the next eight days, many unsigned veterans hope to land gigs that provide a path to continuing their careers. Future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson is one of those still without a home.
Peterson hopes to play a 15th NFL season as he pecks away at the top of the all-time rushing leaderboard. The 36-year-old said last week that he still feels capable of contributing to a contender.
“The training is going well and I’m going to control the things that I can control right now, and, when that time comes, somebody will give me a call,” Peterson told Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790. “That’s all I’m asking for. My body feels good. I came out healthy from last season. My body feels strong. I still feel young. I still feel good. I’m ready to play ball.”
Peterson spent last season with the Detroit Lions, generating 604 yards on 156 carries with seven TDs. He might not have been the every-down bulldozer that put him on a path to the Hall of Fame anymore, but at times the veteran still flashed the ability to get to the second-level last year. As a depth addition to a young backfield, Peterson can still contribute to a team looking for an early-down reserve.
Peterson is one of a host of big-name RBs who remains without a contract, joining Frank Gore, LeSean McCoy, Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley and others. These aging runners likely will have to wait until inevitable injuries create needs for clubs who are currently entering training camp with a plan to go younger.
Peterson has long eyed Emmitt Smith’s rushing record. At 14,820 rushing yards, he sits 450 yards from passing Barry Sanders (15,269) for fourth all-time. Gore (16,000 yards), Walter Payton (16,726 yards), and Smith (18,355 yards) make up the top 3.
If he does find a job at some point in the coming weeks, Peterson hopes it’s with a club that could give him a chance at finally earning a Super Bowl ring.
“Yeah, I’ve been chasing it for a long time,” Peterson said. “It would be nice to finally get one.”
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