Former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson isn’t a lock to make the Washington Redskins roster.
It’s hard to argue against Adrian Peterson being the best running back to ever suit up for the Minnesota Vikings. There are a few others who could also be in the conversation, but Peterson is clearly the top choice.
After 10 seasons with the Vikings, Peterson departed from the franchise in 2017 and he’s continued his NFL career elsewhere. For the last two years, he’s been a member of the Washington Redskins and he’s currently gearing up for a third season with the team in 2020.
Despite the Redskins bringing him back for another year, making the team’s final 2020 roster is far from a guarantee for the former Minnesota running back.
For starters, Peterson is going to have a lot of competition in the Washington running back room. In addition to already having Derrius Guice on the roster, the Redskins also added Peyton Barber in free agency this offseason and they used a third-round pick on former Memphis running back Antonio Gibson during this year’s NFL Draft.
Even though he missed the entire 2019 season, Bryce Love is also someone who could potentially challenge Peterson for a spot on Washington’s 2020 roster.
The Redskins have a new head coach this year in Ron Rivera and he proved during his tenure with the Carolina Panthers that he’s not afraid to part ways with an established running back (see DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart).
An old Minnesota Vikings friend could help Adrian Peterson’s chances.
Luckily for Peterson, a familiar face is Washington’s new offensive coordinator, which could improve the running back’s shot at making the team’s 2020 roster.
New Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner worked with Peterson for three years from 2014 to 2016 while both were members of the Vikings. If Turner chooses to run a similar offense to his father, Norv, it could work out in the former Minnesota running back’s favor since he proved in the past that he can achieve success in the scheme.
The limitations for each team around the NFL due to the COVID-19 pandemic could also improve Peterson’s chances of making Washington’s final 2020 roster. Since the lack of in-person coaching and practicing could make it more difficult for new additions to make an immediate impact, the Redskins could choose to stick with veterans like Peterson in their offensive backfield who have a lower risk of screwing up out on the field.
Still, it’s possible that Washington could choose to move on from the former Vikings running back before the start of the upcoming season. Releasing Peterson would only cost the Redskins $750,000 in dead money in 2020, so it wouldn’t be a difficult move for them to make.
If this is what ends up happening, would the former Minnesota running back find a new team to play for next season, or would the door on his impressive NFL career come to a close?