Less than a week ago, rumors started circulating that the New Orleans Saints had a great chance of signing running back Adrian Peterson, and they have now strengthened. There were a couple of other possible landing spots for him after being released by the Minnesota Vikings, but none of them ended up working out. Now, there are reports that the 32-year-old free agent known as "All-Day" is nearing a deal with New Orleans.
It looks like the Saints are going to seriously strengthen their rushing attack for the upcoming NFL season with the addition of Adrian Peterson. Mark Ingram is entrenched as the starting running back for next season as he had a great 1,000-yard season in 2016, but New Orleans wanted more.
Sources: #Saints & Adrian Peterson believed to be closing in on a deal that'd pay him $3M+ in '17. Not done, but moving in that direction.According to the Times Picayune, Peterson visited with the Saints two weeks ago, but he ended up leaving without a deal. The same thing happened the week before when he visited the New England Patriots and departed their facility without a contract signed.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 24, 2017
It was just last week that Adrian Peterson announced he was willing to take less than $5 million per season, which seriously lowered his asking price. NFL.com is now reporting that the Saints are nearing a deal that would pay the running back $3 million for 2017.
Adrian Peterson and @Saints closing in on deal that would pay the RB $3M+ in 2017.@RapSheet has details: https://t.co/yL6pgGDf7L pic.twitter.com/5BNg5ZAwkeWhile the deal is not yet done and finalized, things are moving in a great direction and are heading toward an agreement. Along with his $3 million base salary, Peterson would also have incentives in his contract that could earn him as much as another $1 million.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 24, 2017
One of the most interesting things to take away from the proposed deal between Peterson and the Saints is that he would earn less than Mark Ingram. Yes, Ingram did have his best season as a pro in 2016, but Peterson is also a seven-time Pro Bowler and former NFL MVP.
In 2016, Peterson was hampered by injuries that limited him to just three games where he amassed only 72 yards on 37 carries. In 2014, he played in only one game, but he did bounce back in 2015 with more than 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns.
New Orleans will benefit greatly if Peterson is fully healed up and ready to go for another season in the NFL. Combining him with Ingram could make for one of the best running back tandems in the league, but it all depends on the healthy of the former Minnesota Viking.
Adrian Peterson and the Saints are closing in on a deal, per @RapSheet https://t.co/dIh8y6fVVC pic.twitter.com/JfdGuk5bugThe Saints have been pretty big players during the offseason with some impressive signings on both offense and defense. They're hoping these moves bring back a winning record in 2017 and return the spark that had this team winning a Super Bowl almost a decade ago.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 24, 2017
With the NFL Draft starting on Thursday, a lot of people believed the Saints would look at a running back with one of the two first-round picks. The signing of Peterson would allow the Saints to take the best possible defensive players on the board with those selections, and improvement on that side of the ball is definitely needed.
Again, nothing is confirmed, and no deal is in place as of this writing on Monday afternoon. However, one appears to be on the horizon.
The New Orleans Saints already have Mark Ingram penciled in as their starting running back for the 2017 NFL season, but there is always room for competition. Adrian Peterson still has gas left in the tank, and the Saints were willing to kick the tires on him and see just how much energy remains. After having a 1,000-yard rusher for the first time in 10 years, the Saints are now going to have a double-headed rushing monster in the offensive backfield.
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