The Washington Redskins signed free agent running back Adrian Peterson on Monday.
Peterson, 33, adds depth to a Redskins backfield that has been depleted by injuries. Rookie running back Derrius Guice suffered a torn ACL in the first preseason game and has been ruled out for the season.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to come in and, you know, help with what I see as a great offense,” said Peterson. “You know, a young offense and defense as well.”
Peterson joins a Redskins backfield that features Alex Smith as quarterback and a stable of running backs including Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, Byron Marshall and Chris Thompson.
“We’ve been going to practice the last few days with only three running backs and one of them is Chris [Thompson], and Chris probably won’t play a whole lot in the preseason,” said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. “We need to get some people in here and Adrian was available, came to work out, looked in great shape and signed him and De’Veon Smith.”
Peterson is a 12-year NFL veteran who has amassed 12,276 rushing yards on 2,574 attempts and scored 99 touchdowns. He has also been selected to seven Pro Bowls and was named the NFL MVP in 2012.
During the 2012 campaign, Peterson rushed for a single season career high of 2,097 yards on 348 carries and scored 12 touchdowns.
Peterson played for the Arizona Cardinals last year after opening the regular season on the New Orleans Saints roster. He finished the season with 529 yards rushing on 156 attempts and scored two touchdowns.
“You know like I told coach, whatever you ask of me I am going to do,” said Peterson. “The things that I’ve been doing for the past two years, of course, being in New Orleans last year and finishing off in Arizona, is just being a great teammate. You know, I’ve got a lot of knowledge. [I’ve] been around for a long time so helping these young guys and not just the running backs but guys at different positions as well. You can lead by example and vocally and I try to do both.”
During his collegiate career at Oklahoma, Peterson rushed for 4,041 yards on 748 attempts and scored 41 touchdowns. He was named an AP first team All-American in 2004 and earned All Big 12 first team honors for three straight seasons (2004-2006).
Peterson’s signing reunites the former Oklahoma Sooner with his college teammate and Redskins offensive lineman Trent Williams.
Peterson and Williams train together in the offseason but haven’t played on the same team since the 2006 campaign. Peterson looks forward to joining the Redskins’ storied franchise.
“I’ve always been a fan of the offensive line,” said Peterson. “Trent Williams is a good friend of mine. We have a business together in Texas and I’ve always talked about playing behind a good offensive line. I know my last couple years – I kind of struggled in that department, but great head coach, obviously a top-notch organization, so it made sense.”