So at this point it’s been a few days since it was announced that future Hall of Famer RB Adrian Peterson had been traded from the New Orleans Saints to the Arizona Cardinals. As of this writing, AP still has yet to play in a game with his new team, so there’s still ample time to discuss the trade and how it affects both main parties.
I’ll begin with saying that I still don’t understand why Adrian Peterson chose to sign with the Saints in the first place. He had to know he wouldn’t get the ball much, even if he was the #1 back (and he wasn’t). After all, the Saints probably have the least RB-friendly offense in the league because they’re always passing even when they aren’t playing from behind. It was a peculiar decision to say the least. So his situation can only improve from there.
As for the Arizona Cardinals, they’ve kind of been in a pickle at running back since David Johnson got injured. Chris Johnson wasn’t getting much done and they hadn’t been able to find anyone else either. Thus the offense has been rather one-dimensional, and although they actually managed to get a couple wins they’ve still been a little shaky. This might be a good move for them, especially considering all they had to give up was a conditional sixth-round pick. It’s certainly the move of a team that wants to win and knows they won’t do it with their current RB lineup. It may or may not work, but it was probably one of their best opportunities.
As for Peterson, he is fortunate given that he has less competition in Arizona right now—especially given that Chris Johnson was released to make room for him. That leaves him to compete with Kerwynn Williams, who has done nothing, and Andre Ellington, who has kind of become the resident Darren Sproles/James White style RB instead. So as long as David Johnson is out, he should get the majority of the carries. If he has anything left in the tank, he’ll probably get to show it.
Of course, that does kind of leave him in a situation where once David Johnson returns, his amount of carries goes down dramatically again. And what happens then? Gets about 5 carries per game, maybe? Given that he’s 32, I can’t really imagine him doing anything after this season especially if he’s not wanted as a starter. If anything, Peterson is lucky that he’s getting a chance to get a proper last hurrah, even if only for a couple of months. Only time will tell if he’s able to do anything with it.