The word generational seems to get thrown around too much these days, with the meaning seemingly losing its weight for the word based on how it is loosely thrown around at times. However, please make no mistake about it — Adrian Peterson is and was a generational talent at the running back position and may be the last of his kind.
When you talk about elite size, speed, and strength at the RB position, very few — if any — names get brought up before AD’s name does. Peterson had the ability to run over you or run by you and did so with such consistency that it made him one of the most feared players in the NFL during his time.
While all historic runs eventually end, let’s take a closer look at his career and the teams he played for along the way.
Who Did Adrian Peterson Play For?
Peterson would play his college football at the University of Oklahoma, where he finished third in the school’s history and just 73 yards short of passing Billy Sims as the school’s all-time leading rusher, all while declaring for the NFL Draft at the conclusion of his junior season.
The decision to declare turned out to be the right one. Peterson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings as the seventh overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft.
He was the first running back selected in that year’s draft and went on to be named The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, as well as being selected to play in the NFL Pro Bowl.
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Peterson would go on to play with the Vikings for the first 10 seasons of his career. However, Minnesota announced that they would not exercise Peterson’s 2017 option on his contract, making him a free agent at the end of the season.
New Orleans Saints
After being told he would not be back in Minnesota, Peterson signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the New Orleans Saints. However, he only played for the Saints for four games to begin the 2017 season, rushing for 81 total yards on 27 carries.
Peterson’s time with the Saints was short-lived. On Oct. 10, 2017, he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for a conditional sixth-round draft pick.
Peterson saw marginal success the remainder of the season, but he battled injuries that derailed his season. He was eventually released at the end of the season, making him a free agent once again.
Following the 2017 season, Peterson signed with Washington. He spent two seasons with the franchise, totaling 462 carries for 1,940 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Following the 2019 season, Peterson signed a one-year deal to play for the Lions. In his one season with Detroit, Peterson was productive in a complementary role, finishing with 156 carries for 604 yards and seven touchdowns.
The 2021 season would be Peterson’s last in the NFL, and he wrapped it up by playing for two teams in his final year.
Following an injury to starter Derrick Henry, the Titans signed Peterson to their practice squad. During Henry’s absence, he filled a gap for the team, but he was released by Tennessee in late November of that year.
Last but not least, Peterson was brought in for a similar role with the Seahawks a few weeks later. He appeared in one game before being inactive for the rest of the season. Peterson would become a free agent after the year and did not suit up again in an NFL uniform.