Why the Atlanta Falcons should sign RB Adrian Peterson

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Scott Carasik
·2 min read
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Bringing in a 35-year-old running back doesn’t sound very appealing on paper, but the Atlanta Falcons should go out and sign Adrian Peterson to compete for the starting running back role within Arthur Smith’s offense. Considering how bad the Falcons ran the ball in 2020, any and all options should be explored.

Peterson isn’t likely to command much money at his age and while his scheme fit might be in question, he would bring the kind of leadership that the Falcons need in the locker room. In Detroit last season, he was a great mentor to former Georgia running back D’Andre Swift.

Peterson normally fits in well with an inside zone or a gap-style scheme, but Atlanta could utilize him in Smith’s outside zone heavy scheme. Peterson’s vision should be an asset and his balance hasn’t wavered, even if his speed isn’t what it once was.

After so many years at the top of the pyramid for running backs in the NFL, Peterson has reached the point in his career where he should be expecting a veteran minimum salary benefit (MSB) contract. Those MSB contracts only count as a third-year player’s minimum salary but can pay him just over a million dollars — which was what he signed with the Lions last year.

Because of this, he shouldn’t hurt any long-term plans and could help out the younger players while still trying to break Emmitt Smith’s rushing record. Peterson’s leadership would be beneficial if the Falcons select a running back in the draft.

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