Detroit Lions: 3 reasons the Adrian Peterson signing makes sense

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Early Sunday morning, the Detroit Lions reportedly agreed to terms of a one-year contract with veteran running back Adrian Peterson.

The Detroit Lions‘ decision to acquire legendary NFL running back Adrian Peterson early Sunday morning was unexpected. At the same time, it is not shocking for one of the league’s traditionally morbid franchises.

Especially as the team hopes to emerge as a legitimate NFC North Division contender for the 2020 season, the Lions signing was reported by independent journalist Josina Anderson who released the details of the one-year, $2.3 million contract, including incentives.

Here are three reasons why signing Peterson makes sense and could prove to be an even more significant signing than conventional thinking would suggest:

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Reason #1: The Lions drafted Kerryon Johnson in the second round of the 2018 draft with hopes he’d emerge as the “workhorse” back the organization has desperately needed.

Although he’s shown flashes of brilliance during his two seasons, he’s missed 14 games due to injuries.

Because of his durability questions, the Lions drafted top-rated running back prospect D’Andre Swift with their second-round pick in last April’s draft with hopes he’d eventually become the team’s primary ball carrier.

Instead, he’s been banged up through training camp thus far, which ultimately has forced GM Bob Quinn’s hand in making a move to pick up Peterson.

For now, it seems Detroit will be taking a committee approach to matters in their offensive backfield.

Reason #2: Since hiring Matt Patricia in 2018, both Quinn and the first-time head coach have been speaking of the idea of building a sustainable, winning culture into existence in Detroit. So far, the results have failed to promote the idea that the strategy is becoming a reality.

The Lions have regressed under Patricia, going 9-22-1 in two lackluster seasons. However, the team cleaned house this past offseason and let go of many of the players who weren’t willing to buy into the new regime’s philosophy and now looks poised to make a leap forward after finding a suitable scheme fits in both free agency and the draft.

Peterson, a former MVP, and seven-time Pro-Bowl back, will provide the Lions’ stable of backs with both the professionalism and toughness expected from an individual who currently sits fifth on the NFL’s all-time rushing yards list. Both Johnson and Swift should benefit under Peterson’s mentorship.

Reason #3: Finally, it’s easy to get excited about this acquisition because of Peterson’s relationship with Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. At 35, the back’s best days are obviously behind him.

However, combining his familiarity with the OC’s scheme and the presumption that Peterson has a small amount of gas left in his tank should bode well for the future Hall-of-Famer. His best years in Minnesota were spent working with Bevell, resulting in four Pro-Bowl trips, and a minimum of 1,298 yards and ten touchdowns each between 2007-2010.

Last season, Peterson provided Washington with 524 rushing-yards after initial contact. If nothing else, he should give the Lions with the ability to run between the tackles consistently and grind out yards in short-yardage situations to the tune of about 15 carries per contest.

It’s not unfamiliar for the Detroit Lions organization to sign a “name” player who is clearly past his prime. Still, Peterson will be a welcome addition to the roster, the running back rotation, and the film room for a team looking to graduate from an existence of purgatory into relevance.

light. Related Story. Adrian Peterson is a great addition to a youthful backfield

The last time the team brought in an “aged” journeyman back was back in 2013 when Reggie Bush became the previous Detroit Lions’ runner to cross the 1,000-yard mark. Let’s hope Peterson can become the next Detroit back to eclipse the mark, or at the very least, pile up some short-yardage touchdowns while complimenting Swift and Johnson’s big-play capabilities.