Adrian Peterson's signing helps Redskins' reputation

Brian Tinsman
March 24, 2019 - 9:28 pm
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This might be reading hidden meaning into a business transaction, but Adrian Peterson's decision to re-sign with the Washington Redskins reflects well on the team.

Think about it: when was the last time that a household NFL name had a good season with the Redskins, had multiple suitors in free agency, and still decided to return to the team?

ALSO READ: Peterson wants a 'way better season' in 2019

According to SI.com's Albert Breer, Peterson chose the Redskins' two-year, $8 million over other offers:

"The Redskins move to take care of Adrian Peterson early was largely prompted by other teams’ interest in him...This year, both the Bears and Jaguars were in it before Peterson decided to go back to DC."

We don't know what the other teams were offering him in terms of contract numbers or a role.

But here's what we do know:

1. The Redskins are familiar: Peterson got a crash course on the team last preseason and exceeded everyone's expectations, except for maybe his own. He was the team's early MVP, he provided locker room leadership, he mentored Derrius Guice, he was a friendly face in the media, and he endeared himself to fans. Along the way, he saw the Redskins organization from the inside and wasn't scared off. 

2. The Bears are legit: Coming off of a surprise 12-4 season, the Bears aren't sneaking up on anyone this year and they shouldn't have to. Mitchell Trubisky is a solid NFL quarterback and the defense is among the best in the game. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen are a decent running back tandem, but Peterson had the best 2018 of the trio. Throw in the fact that he would play the Vikings twice in a season, and this seems very appealing.

3. The Jaguars should bounce back: The Jags have been a quarterback away from serious contention for several years, and finally got their man. If Nick Foles has any magic outside of Philadelphia, the Jags have the defense to be a 60-minute threat in 2019 and beyond. Peterson had a better 2018 season that either Leonard Fournette or Thomas Rawls and could have carved out a role against a fourth-place schedule.

4. Derrius Guice is back: Guice's injury helped prompt Peterson's signing last preseason, and Guice should be ready to go in 2019. Peterson may have a larger role while Guice works back into the offense, but if Guice lives up to expectations, he will take touches from AP. Despite that, Peterson committed to two years of what could be a backup role, at a time when he wants to break records.

5. Quarterback unknown: Almost all great teams have some balance between passing and running, with one being used to set up the other. The Redskins fell apart last season when Alex Smith went down, and it still isn't clear who will replace him in Week 1. Colt McCoy was the heir apparent but was seen on crutches in March, and Case Keenum is coming off of a bad 2018 season in Denver. All of this could create more opportunities for the running game but isn't likely to make running easier for the Redskins.

That's almost all that we know on the topic. It's possible that Peterson got the best offer from the Redskins, using the other teams as leverage to get a two-year pact and more money.

But that's an unlikely motivation for a player who has made more than $100 million in his career.

Peterson has said that his motivation is becoming the greatest running back of all-time, and there's no reason to doubt his commitment to breaking records. He also discussed wanting to win a championship. For whatever reason, he sees the best chance of doing that in Washington.

It's possible that Peterson wanted to show the Redskins love for signing him off the scrap heap last season and giving him a shot. It's possible that he doesn't want to change teams, cities and schemes at this point in his career.

Either way, he saw the Redskins' way of doing business from the inside and decided to commit for not just one, but two more years. 

This is critical as the Redskins look to attract talent this offseason and beyond.

When a first-ballot Hall of Famer chooses a team with obvious flaws, there must be something more than meets the eye.

 

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