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The Adrian Peterson Era in New Orleans is Over


Well, that escalated quickly. The triumphant return of football’s favorite abusive dad ends before it ever really began. And all the stuff we were told about how Peterson was going to fit in with the Saints, how he was happy to be a role player, he just wanted the chance to reprove himself and he and Sean Payton weren’t fighting; they were only having a discussion, was all bullshit. Peterson got less than 17 percent of the snaps in New Orleans and he didn’t come back to football to stand around watching Mark Ingram run the ball and Drew Brees drop back. And Payton clearly had no intention of getting screamed at by a guy averaging 3.0 per carry, either. It was a marriage that was never going to work out from the beginning, so it’s best to just get it annulled.

Honestly, I’m going to be fascinated to see how this will work out in Arizona. For starters, the Cardinals have the worst rushing attack in football since David Johnson went down. They’ve got the fewest rushing yards in the league, despite the fact six teams have played one less game. Their 2.8 YPA is also the worst. And since even though Johnson can come off IR in early November, Christmas is a more reasonable goal.

But at the same time, in order for Peterson to get the kinds carries he always used to get and presumably still wants, Bruce Arians would have to revamp his whole offense. When you include sacks, the Cardinals throw the ball almost 2.5 times for every rushing attempt. Peterson is a bell cow. A guy who typically got better the more reps he had. And who also preferred to run behind a fullback, which caused problems in Minnesota when management wanted to go with a 2-tight end offense with Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson and got tons of pushback. And Arians can’t consider using him in a Johnson-type role because his hands are pizza paddles.

So the bottom line is Peterson came back for one more shot at redemption from the Whuppin’ Room scandal, went to a team where he couldn’t get it and is now onto one that is desperate but maybe can’t use him. And he’ll undoubtedly go from owned in less than half of all Fantasy leagues to 99 percent overnight. I just can’t see it working out for him in Arizona any more than it did in New Orleans.