Detroit Lions: Why Signing Adrian Peterson Could Make Sense

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Peterson came into the NFL offseason hoping to find a new team to prove that he still has some football left to be played. He was seen in workout videos all offseason long attacking the process and looked very good while doing it. Despite the hard work, no team has signed Peterson yet and training camp is already underway.

While no team has signed Peterson just yet, there is a team that should look into the option. A team that may be a running back away from competing in the NFC. That team would be the Detroit Lions.

Obviously, the Lions could simply stick with their current group of running backs. LeGarrette Blount was signed in free agency and Detroit still has Theo Riddick, Kerryon Johnson, and Ameer Abdullah to split carries between. That being said, a player like Peterson could fit very nicely in the backfield behind Matthew Stafford.

Last season split between the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals, Peterson showed flashes of his old self. Unfortunately, injuries plagued him once again and ended his season early.

In the four games that he played with the Saints, Peterson struggled to find the field. Sean Payton used Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara heavily, which no one can blame him for. New Orleans decided to trade Peterson and the Cardinals were happy to give him a chance after starting running back David Johnson went down with injury.

Peterson took full advantage of the trade and racked up 134 yards and two touchdowns in his first game with the Cardinals. He ended up playing in six games for Arizona, totaling 448 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers may not look impressive, but they still proved that he is capable of playing a role for an NFL team.

Detroit may have a stacked backfield, but they don’t have a workhorse back with the big-play potential that Peterson can still bring to the field when healthy. Blount is a power back and the rest of their backs are all big-play players.

During an interview this offseason, Peterson made it clear that he is healthy and ready to prove himself once again.

“I’m healthy and I’m ready to roll. If you want someone to help you win a championship and be productive — be very productive — you know how to contact me.”

There is a good chance that the Lions will go into the season with their current roster intact. Peterson may not be a consideration at this point in time.

That being said, bringing in a veteran running back with the resume that Peterson has would be an intriguing move for the Lions. It has been a long time since the Lions were viewed as legitimate contenders and Peterson could be one of the pieces that help get them back into that position.

Just a few short years ago, Peterson was the best running back in the NFL and it wasn’t even close. A few injuries later and he can’t even find a job. If that doesn’t show how fast things can change in the NFL, nothing can.

Expect to see Peterson sign somewhere ahead of the regular season. If he doesn’t, there is a good chance that we will see one of the most dominant running backs of all-time hang up his cleats.

Matthew Stafford and the Lions’ aerial attack should be dangerous, but a healthy Peterson might be the balance that takes their offense from good to great.