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RB Adrian Peterson Once Again Being Linked to the Packers

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RB Adrian Peterson Once Again Being Linked to the Packers

-- Hold on to your hats: the Adrian Peterson-to-Green Bay buzz is gaining traction again.

Over a year after Peterson's tenure with the Minnesota Vikings reached its end and he became a free agent, Peterson has once again been connected to the Green Bay Packers this time around.

Peterson, who led the NFL in rushing yards three times and twice in touchdowns, made an appearance on ESPN Friday to discuss his future plans in 2018.

"Green Bay wouldn't be a bad look," Peterson said unprompted after listing two other teams he would enjoy suiting up for. "There are some options out there. You see around the league, they have a two-back system. Guys aren't pounding the ball 20-30 times a game.

"I think that leaves the door open for a couple of opportunities for me."

Peterson is undoubtedly going to see his name and a bust of his head enshrined in Canton, Ohio when his career is all said and done. But for now, what does he have left in the tank and what can he offer a team like the Packers who already sport one of the league's top up-and-coming backfields?

The answer is not much.

Peterson signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints in April 2017 where he played sparingly in four games. The emergence of rookie Alvin Kamara paired with Mark Ingram -- a duo that formed possibly the league's best rushing tandem -- pushed Peterson out the door in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals.

Peterson played six games for the Cardinals before being placed on injured reserve in December after a neck injury sidelined him for two consecutive games. His last productive season was 2015 -- coincidentally the last time he led the league in rushing yards.

The Packers, meanwhile, rode the coattails of their own electrifying rushing tandem of Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones, drafted in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively.

They're expected to continue their dual responsibilities with a healthy Aaron Rodgers at quarterback as opposed to Brett Hundley, who took over after Rodgers broke his collarbone in week 6. That also means less dependency on the ground game, which also likely means slightly fewer opportunities for one running back, let alone two.

This "formula" isn't even including Ty Montgomery, who has shown on multiple occasions that he has the skill set to play running back but also be featured as a chess piece that can be moved into a variety of different positions in the offense.

It goes a little deeper than what the Packers already have stacked on their depth chart.

Peterson has shown deficiencies throughout his career in running out of the shotgun formation (quarterback receiving the snap five-to-seven yards behind the line of scrimmage with either one, two, or no running backs alongside him).

In the 29 games Peterson has played since 2015, he's averaged 2.3 yards per carry when running out of the shotgun. For his career, he has a 3.7 yards per carry average, which is a whole yard less than his overall career average.

Why does this pertain to the Packers? They've operated out of the shotgun formation for a majority of their offensive possessions since 2014.

In 2014, the Packers ran 36.7 percent of their offensive snaps out of the shotgun. In 2015, the percentage slightly decreased to 35.1. However, the massive spike in the last two seasons saw 53.2 percent in 2016 and 48.1 percent in 2017. If there was a greater repellent for the Packers to stray from Peterson, you'd have a hard time finding it.

In each of those four seasons, the shotgun formation was the Packers' most-utilized setup. That could change slightly with former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin back in the building and with coach Mike McCarthy's group taking a "scrub-brush approach" to rebuilding the offense, but for now, Peterson still wouldn't make much sense.

Peterson made a living gashing the Packers' defense in the 17 games he's faced them in his career, amassing 1,779 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also had two games last season after being traded to the Cardinals in which he rushed for over 130 yards (134, 159).

McCarthy said last year that he "thinks the world" of Peterson, and that the Packers weren't ruling out every avenue of acquiring a running back. That, of course, was before the Packers drafted three running backs in the draft a month after his comments.

McCarthy's sentiments may have changed from then to now, and you'd have to even buy into the possibility that he'd put the Packers' young trio of running backs on an even higher of a pedestal in May 2018 than he did Peterson at the time.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (42) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Lare's picture

As with Dez Bryant, the Packers have no need for Adrian Peterson.

lebowski's picture

"already sport one of the league's top up-and-coming backfields". Jones and Williams have shown potential but that seems a little premature.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

Not at all. They complement each other nicely as a change-of-pace tandem, and, if they can stay healthy, they're going to be a problem. They're 'up-and-coming' for a reason: they're not totally undoubtedly proven, but they're on their way.

lebowski's picture

I hope you're right!

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I like Jones, but overall I think the Packers definitely have a lower tier set of HB's.

Look around the league. Nearly every team has multiple backs better than Williams, and even Jones would only start for a few.

packerbackerjim's picture

I disagree. Williams was very reliable and productive in obvious running situations. Jones, I believe, led the NFL in runs 20+yards. That said, no team can have too many RBs.

marpag1's picture

"Jones, I believe, led the NFL in runs 20+yards."

Actually, no, not close. Maybe you were thinking of something more obscure like "number of 20+ runs per carry."

Kareem Hunt and L. McCoy led the league with 12. Ten players had more 20+ runs than Jones, and five had the same number at 6. Ten more players were just one less at 5.

But on a PER CARRY basis, yeah he popped a few long ones...

HankScorpio's picture

In that case, it is fortunate that NFL football games are not decided by some kind of RB skills challenge.

In fact, a long-standing theory of mine is that RB talent is far less relevant to run game production than scheme and blocking.

With Rodgers on the field taking the attention of the defense, the Packers have plenty of blocking and running talent to produce when running the ball

Mags's picture

"Electrifying rushing tandem" is a bit of a stretch. Maybe in a few years but not last year.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

Second comment in a row about my choice of words. I guess I thought higher of the Packers' backfield last season than others did, but I absolutely loved what Jones/Williams showed. That's all.

Rak47's picture

I agree with you, to some fans the grass will always be greener on the other side of the fence. Jones is a dynamic short area runner with excellent quickness, acceleration, and superior vision. He catches the ball out of the backfield smoothly as well. Williams is a battering ram in pass blocking and short yardage situations, he also possesses nice one cut ability and is able to catch the ball cleanly out of the backfield. These two complement each other well and should only get better barring injury.

Bert's picture

No!! AP is washed up. Makes no sense at all.

Tundraboy's picture

No, we're not the Vikings trying to give an old rival player the opportunity to have one last flash against their nemesis.

The Marathon Man's picture

Agree. Let the Queens continue on as "Green Bay West". We're in trouble if we become "Minnesota East".

Tundraboy's picture

Minnesota East. Ewwww

Since '61's picture

No way!!! We need young legs and bodies at RBs. Not old, washed up player who beats his child with a switch. No reason to bring him to Green Bay. I would prefer to lose then have AP on our team. Thanks, Since ‘61

packerbackerjim's picture

Absolutely correct. He should have been behind bars.

croatpackfan's picture

I agree on this matter 100% with you, Since...

It is obviously AP is trying to sell himself and scanning teams he thinks have lack in backfield. I will always take Packers 5 RB before AP...

Tundraboy's picture

Exactly, obvious move to make a dig back at Minnesota and try to create fake interest.

Qoojo's picture

lol, not going to happen. "Linked" and "Buzz" being keywords for talking heads on espn or nfl network that must fill time.

Nononsense's picture

I agree with most here, something catastrophic would have to happen for Gute to consider signing AP. Good thing about him though is you know he'll be in shape and most likely available should the unforseen happen. Plenty of years where our RB room resembled a MASH unit so I wont rule it out completely.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I think Peterson would look great in Green and Gold! He hasn't taken that many hits over the past few years, he's still got power and speed, and he could give Aaron the backfield threat he's desperately needing!

Just kidding. AP looks more used up than Favre entering his 3rd rehab.

jyros's picture

Fumbles Peterson. Really?!

Handsback's picture

You know I thought Green Bay would talk to me about their RB position, but alas they didn't. It's so disappointing, I know how you feel All Day!

PatrickGB's picture

Just because somebody outside the organization thinks that it is a good idea does not mean it actually is.

ricky's picture

Peterson said he'd be interested in playing for the Packers. How does this translate as Peterson being "linked to the Packers"? After all, for years I wanted to be Jamie Leigh Curtis' boyfriend. Does that mean we were "linked"? Maybe, but only in my fevered imagination.

Point Packer's picture


PAPackerbacker's picture


HankScorpio's picture

I don't want to quibble over the definition of "electrifying" but it's hard to criticize the offensive production in 2016, by objective measures.

In 2017, they were down Rodgers. In 2015, all their WRs got hurt.

Having said that, I do believe the Packers are at their best on offense when they are using the entire depth chart, not sticking with the same basic personnel grouping all game. Nothing was going to save 2017 with Hundley. But that 2015 team might have better survived the WR losses if they were less dependent on them.

mamasboy's picture

I can't believe I wasted my time reading that article. The Packers will sign Pee Wee Herman before Adrian "beatyerson" Pederson. He'd be nothing more than an expensive camp body .

Zachary Jacobson's picture

I can't believe you wasted your time commenting on an article that you can't believe you wasted your time reading.

4thand1's picture

For some reason he wants to play anywhere. I've heard he was in great shape, but give up a roster spot for him? The only reason he mentioned GB is he wants to stick it to the queens. The only fit I see is if Monty is the 3rd WR and stash the rookies on the practice squad.

Tundraboy's picture

"For some reason he wants to play anywhere."

Honest admission to me that he'll take any offer he can get.

Rak47's picture

I know this is a bit off topic but has anyone seen acme's 90 man roster rankings? I almost spewed my coffee all over the screen when I saw they ranked Vince Biegel 26th overall ahead of players who actually performed well like McCray, Gilbert, and Brice. I like Biegel a lot but seriously? They just tried to imagine what they hope he will do this year and ranked him based on that as opposed to what he's actually done on the field combined with potential. They lost some credibility with me on that one.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

He's a child abuser. And, an unapologetic one too. No thanks.

DD's picture

The Packers have some very good backs currently. The only problem I see, as stated in the article, is that the Packers will continue with MM's boring, predictable, no scheme offense and the the backs will not be used effectively to help the passing game. Again, the Packers have Rodgers and will continue to be one dimensional which plays right into the hands of opposing defenses! MM again fails to use a creative, back formations and schemes. Result: Rodgers running to make something happen and high risk of another injury which would spell doom for us.

cheesehead1's picture

No to Pederson and Dez, no way. I’m still concerned about our O line/Bulaga. This teams injury history is alarming, but maybe this will be the year where we catch a break or two. Looking for a big improvement overall on D! Go Pack!

stockholder's picture

Bulaga will battle Spriggs. He's been asked to take a pay cut. I'm more concerned at Guard.

LambeauPlain's picture

Let's aging RB with questionable character who won't play with hangnails, takes himself out of games, won't pass block and cannot run well out of the shotgun.

What would possibly go wrong with him in GB?

Jones, Monte, Williams and (hopefully) Mays make the RB room a strength.

bandnerd007's picture

Take all the concerns about Dez Bryant, multiply by 3, and add child abuse. Not a chance. I'll take Dez 10/10 times over AP.

TXCHEESE's picture

Yes, and I've been linked to Taylor Swift. But only in my own little world. I would say that is as likely to happen as AP becoming a Packer. Dude is horrible in the pass game. How many hundreds of times have we heard McCarthy say that backs need to be 3 down backs. I'm happy with group the Packer's have on the roster right now. No need to go out and get an old running back with a zillion miles on him, even if half of those were against the Packers. ;-)

Matt Gonzales's picture

AP in Green Bay would not work for the same reason it didn't work for him in NO. You're talking about a very small set of play packages where he will play well, so him being on the field pretty well telegraphs the play. AP had a great career, but he never honed his skills to become a true feature back or complimentary back that can stay on the field in a modern offense. What he would offer the Packers (basically guaranteed short distance yards in obvious running plays) is already there with Williams and Ripkowski.

Once you factor in character concerns, effects of age, and higher injury risks, this is basically a non-starter.

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