The Washington Football Team informed Adrian Peterson Friday morning he would not be a part of their 2020 roster, which could signal the end of his NFL career.
Peterson spent the past two years with Washington as their primary back – leading the team in rushing over that time with 1,940 yards and 12 touchdowns. He set history in 2019 rushing eclipsing 14,200 yards, trailing Barry Sanders by 1,053 yards for fourth place on the NFL's career list. Peterson also ranks fourth with 111 rushing touchdowns.
The Hall of Fame running back told NFL reporter Josina Anderson: “It caught me by surprise. I was having a strong camp. It was showing up on film, taking number one reps all the way to this week. I just got notified by the running backs coach yesterday that they want to give these young guys some reps, but I didn't know I was going to get cut, there was no indication.”
“Today (Ron) Rivera just said this is always tough, but yes we're going to release you and go with this offensive style.”
Peterson reportedly still wants to continue playing. Going to a contending team seems like the best scenario where there's still depth issues at the position and he can go in, still produce and win.
Peterson is 35 years old and considered a power runner. The team released former second-round pick Darius Guice earlier this year, but has four other running backs, all 27 years old or younger and capable of helping in both the running and passing games – which hasn't always been Peterson's strong suit.
According to reports, the team wants to use a lot of two-running back sets and wants the backs to be multithreats. It drafted Antonio Gibson in the third round; he had played mostly receiver at Memphis, but Rivera will use him as a running back who can align all over in the passing game.
After spending 10 seasons in Minnesota, Peterson recently called Washington his “second home.” He said he liked how fans embraced him.
“God willing, it'll be five more years,” he said about playing.
The news come after Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in an interview the team will be looking at adding depth at the safety and running back positions.
Currently, Dallas has Ezekiel Elliott as their lead back with Tony Pollard acting as a change-of-pace back.
Peterson was rumored to join Dallas when he was first let go from the Vikings, though those rumors quickly evaporated when the team drafted Elliott.
The 13-year-veteran is a native of Palestine and graduated from Palestine High School after setting nearly all of the school's rushing records.
He went on to play at the University of Oklahoma before becoming the seventh pick overall in the 2007 NFL draft.
Although Peterson wants to keep playing, it will be difficult to find a situation where he will receive significant carry share in 2020.
The deadline for teams to get down to the league-mandated 53-man threshold is Saturday, Sept. 5 at 4 p.m. ET. Washington opens their season Sept. 13 at home against the Eagles. IT finished 3-13 in 2019.