Beyond The Mic: Saints Should Not Trade Adrian Peterson
When the New Orleans Saints signed running back Adrian Peterson in the offseason, it was met by a majority of fans with excitement.
A future first ballot Hall of Famer, Peterson, 32, felt he had more left in the tank. Saints fans viewed him as an upgrade over the departing Tim Hightower.
Through 4 games this season, Peterson has 27 runs for 81 yards, and 2 receptions for 4 yards. He's on pace for 89 touches this season, a major drop off from the 357 touches he had in 2015, his last healthy year in Minnesota.
With a history of dominance, media stories followed Peterson to New Orleans. He's had too great of a career to not be considered a star, even if his game at this stage of his career doesn't reflect that of a superstar.
Fans have called the shows on ESPN1420, shared on social media, and discussed with one another the future of Peterson with the Saints. The consensus seems to be, "trade him".
"Because he's not doing anything for the Saints and you can get something good in return," sums up the typical response.
Sorry Saints fans, but Peterson needs to stay.
The trade market for him would be a late round pick. His offseason as a free agent proved how the league values him at this stage in his career.
He didn't run the ball much in last week's win as the Saints were without a fullback. John Kuhn tore his bicep when the team was practicing in London and placed on IR. Peterson has run behind a fullback the majority of his career.
More importantly, even if his role doesn't increase, having a rested Peterson as an insurance policy if the Saints backfield begins to get banged up is more valuable than a conditional 6th or 7th round pick.
Peterson's quote of, "I didn't sign up for 9 snaps" after the team's week 1 loss at Minnesota was taken out of context by most, as the rest of his quote was left off every headline.
"I haven't adjusted (to the smaller role) yet, but we're winning," said Peterson on Sunday.
If he's not becoming an issue in the locker room, there's no upside to trading him. Mark Ingram has a history of injuries, as does Alvin Kamara and Peterson as well. The running back position in today's NFL is near impossible to get through a 16 game season without at least one player missing time.
"Of course, being the type of player that I am, knowing I have so much left in the tank, it's rough," Peterson said after the team's win in London. "So at the end of the day, I know that things will work out in some type of way. I don't know how things will unfold, but things will get figured out."
When his time comes, Peterson will be asked to help the Saints win a game this season. When he does, the team and fans alike will be glad he wasn't moved for a future draft pick who likely wouldn't make the team.