3 Teams That Should Sign Adrian Peterson

Three teams that should sign free-agent running back Adrian Peterson, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Three teams that should sign free-agent running back Adrian Peterson, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers. / Nic Antaya/Getty Images

As the 2021 NFL season is set to begin in less than three weeks, a handful of prominent names still remain in free agency. One of those happens to be former 2012 NFL MVP running back Adrian Peterson.

The 36-year-old spent last season with the Detroit Lions, putting up 604 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns on 156 attempts. While his best years are far behind him, that doesn't change the fact that he can still contribute in a secondary role.

Here's a look at three teams that should sign Peterson ahead of the 2021 season.

Adrian Peterson Rumors

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars ran into a major issue this week as rookie RB Travis Etienne has been ruled out for the 2021 season with a Lisfranc injury. To make matters worse, wideout Tavon Austin went down with a knee injury on Thursday after it was assumed that he'd earn some of Etienne's carries. While James Robinson and Carlos Hyde still give the Jaguars a solid backfield, it could be improved even more by bringing Peterson in as the No. 3 option. Hyde is coming off of a season where hamstring issues forced him to miss six games. Meanwhile, Robinson looked impressive as he rushed for over 1,000 yards last year, but that was his only season of NFL experience and there's no telling if he can do it again. If anything, bringing in a veteran like Peterson give the Jaguars some low-risk insurance.

2. Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons will open the 2021 NFL season with veteran Mike Davis as their No. 1 running back after he signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract over the offseason. Third-year RB Qadree Ollison is slated to be Davis' backup, but he hasn't really done anything notable in his first two seasons. If the Falcons are looking to bounce back from last year's underwhelming campaign, they should sign Peterson. He'd be an immediate upgrade over Ollison for the time being. There's also the fact that Peterson is a better rusher than Davis, who excels more as a pass-catcher. That's not to say that Peterson should usurp Davis as the lead back. In reality, it'll give the Falcons a one-two punch dynamic that they can switch up depending on the situation.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

Last year, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the worst rushing attack in the NFL, averaging just 82.5 yards on the ground per game. While they addressed that issue by selecting former Alabama Crimson Tide RB Najee Harris in the first round of this year's draft, it doesn't change the fact that the rest of the backfield isn't that remarkable. Benny Snell Jr. is just another guy who hasn't looked impressive in his tenure with Pittsburgh, while Anthony McFarland Jr.'s rookie campaign wasn't anything to write home about. At least bringing in Peterson gives the team a more dynamic backup option who played better than the rest of the Steelers running back room last year. Harris would also get to work with one of the best rushers to ever play the game, which could benefit his career in the long run.

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