Adrian Peterson says he is signing with Saints

Free agent running back Adrian Peterson is nearing a deal with the New Orleans Saints, according to multiple media reports.

Peterson told ESPN on Tuesday that the he is signing a one-year deal, with a one-year option for 2018.

He will receive $3.5 million guaranteed when he signs the deal, $1 million of it is his base salary for guaranteed salary for 2017 and $2.5 million of the salary comes in form of a signing bonus.

"I am excited to be joining the New Orleans Saints," Peterson told ESPN.com. "I'm really looking forward to this opportunity. Most importantly, I chose this team because it just felt right within my spirit. Additionally, my wife and family added their confirmation with the same feelings.

Peterson, 32, was released by the Minnesota Vikings after 10 seasons with the team. Peterson ran only 37 times for 72 yards last season after tearing his meniscus in a September game.

Peterson became an unrestricted free agent after Minnesota declined to pay a $18 million team option.

Peterson also visited with the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.

He led the NFL in total rushing yards and rushing yards per game in 2015, one year after he missed 15 games due to a suspension for child abuse charges.

Peterson, a four-time first-team AP All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler, has rushed for 11,747 yards and 97 touchdowns in his career.

The Saints and the Vikings will meet in Minneapolis in Week 1 on Monday Night Football.

Adrian Peterson, the 2012 NFL MVP, spent his first 10 seasons with the Vikings and ranks 16th in NFL history with 11,747 rushing yards. Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports



Adrian Peterson to sign with Saints

Adrian Peterson plans to sign a two-year deal that is effectively a one-year deal plus a one-year option with the New Orleans Saints, he told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Tuesday morning.

Peterson told Anderson that the deal is worth a base total value of $7 million. Here are the terms Peterson says he has agreed to at this point: The 2017 compensation is $3.5 million (all guaranteed at signing), which includes a $1 million guaranteed salary in 2017 and a $2.5 million signing bonus.

The maximum incentives package is $8.25 million and whatever incentives are reached in 2017 get added to the per-game roster bonuses in 2018.

The 2018 compensation is $3.5 million, none of which is guaranteed. It includes $2.4 million in total roster bonuses (which includes a $750,000 roster bonus earned on the third day of free agency plus $1.65 million in per-game roster bonuses), a $1.05 million salary and a $50,000 workout bonus.

"I am excited to be joining the New Orleans Saints," Peterson told Anderson. "I'm really looking forward to this opportunity. Most importantly, I chose this team because it just felt right within my spirit. Additionally, my wife and family added their confirmation with the same feelings.

"On offense, it goes without saying that the Saints are really solid behind Drew Brees. I feel like my skill set can make them even more dominant as a unit. They have a great offensive line, which is something that stood out to me as well. I could tell from talking to head coach Sean Payton over the last two weeks that he did his due diligence in evaluating how I could contribute. I also did a lot of homework on the defense as well. While I know that injuries have played a role in performance, I also see areas of potential with a lot of younger guys having the ability to step up. Lastly, it goes without saying that the Saints have an amazing fan base and I look forward to making them proud and creating everlasting memories."

Peterson, who turned 32 last month, became a free agent when the Minnesota Vikings decided not to pick up their $18 million option on him.

If Peterson were to sign with the Saints, he would get an immediate chance to play against his former team. The Saints visit the Vikings in Week 1 as part of ESPN's Monday Night Football doubleheader.

He had also visited with the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks while looking for the right spot to continue his Hall of Fame career.

The Saints have a No. 1 running back in Mark Ingram, who is 27 years old and under contract for two more years. They need depth after allowing veteran backup Tim Hightower to become a free agent. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers last week.

At times, the Saints used Ingram and Hightower in a 1A/1B time-share. Hightower produced 100-yard games in each of the past two years while Ingram was either injured or temporarily benched. Peterson could possibly take on an even bigger role. Payton's offensive creativity was likely a draw for him, as is the proximity to his hometown in the Houston area.

Peterson, the 2012 NFL MVP, spent his first 10 seasons with the Vikings and ranks 16th in NFL history with 11,747 rushing yards. He posted a message on social media last month insisting that his decision won't be about money and that his main objective is "finding the best fit and helping a team in a major way win a championship."

Peterson played just three games last season because of a torn meniscus suffered on Sept. 18. He returned in less than three months from his injury to play against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 18. However, he sat out the Vikings' final two games because of an adductor strain he suffered in his first game back. He finished the season with 72 yards on 37 carries.

Peterson, whose career rushing yards rank second to Frank Gore among active players, has failed to eclipse 40 carries in two of the past three seasons because of suspension and injuries, but he led the NFL with 1,485 rushing yards in 2015.

Since recovering from ACL reconstruction on his left knee to rush for 2,097 yards in 2012 and win the MVP, Peterson has defied the evidence that running backs wear down by age 30. He has long said he believes he can play deep into his 30s.


Adrian Peterson, Saints finalize two-year contract

Adrian Peterson found a new home.

The face of the Minnesota Vikings for a decade finalized a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints that will pay Peterson $7 million, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the situation. The deal included $3.5 million guaranteed in 2017. Rapoport added the Saints were the only team to formally offer a deal to Peterson this offseason.

In a statement to ESPN's Josina Anderson, the veteran running back said he fully evaluated the Saints' chances to compete this season and came out convinced he could contribute to a winner.

"I am excited to be joining the New Orleans Saints," Peterson said. "I'm really looking forward to this opportunity. Most importantly, I chose this team because it just felt right within my spirit. Additionally, my wife and family added their confirmation with the same feelings. On offense, it goes without saying that the Saints are really solid behind Drew Brees. I feel like my skill set can make them even more dominant as a unit.

"They have a great offensive line, which is something that stood out to me as well. I could tell from talking to head coach Sean Payton over the last two weeks that he did his due diligence in evaluating how I could contribute. I also did a lot of homework on the defense as well. While I know that injuries have played a role in performance, I also see areas of potential with a lot of younger guys having the ability to step up. Lastly, it goes without saying that the Saints have an amazing fan base and I look forward to making them proud and creating everlasting memories."

Peterson's average salary of $3.5 million places him 22nd among running backs this year, per Spotrac.com, behind the likes of Frank Gore ($4M), Theo Riddick ($3.85M), Bilal Powell ($3.75M) and Ryan Mathews ($3.6M). Peterson will also earn less than incumbent Saints starter Mark Ingram.

Ingram, a former first-round pick, is coming off the best season of his career, earning 1,043 yards on 205 carries for a 5.1-yard per tote average with six touchdowns. He also added 46 receptions for 319 yards and four receiving scores. Ingram's increased receiving production over the past few years should help his attempt to fend off Peterson for carries.

The addition of Peterson will leave Saints fans -- and fantasy football owners -- wondering who will carry the larger load in 2017. Early indications are that Ingram will remain the starter with Peterson taking over the Tim Hightower role on early-down runs, third-and-shorts, and goal-line situations.

With his limited ability to be a receiver and poor pass blocking, Peterson doesn't seem to fit in the Saints' pass-happy, shotgun-heavy offense. In fact, on paper, the fit is downright atrocious. However, All Day and the Saints both believe the generational back can push the offense over the top.

Peterson enters 2017 with a considerable chip on his shoulder after being greeted with a cold reception from teams in free agency. The 32-year-old back has made a career out of proving people wrong at every stage. Behind one of the best run-blocking offensive lines in the NFL (the Saints owned the top run-blocking unit in 2017, per Football Outsider's metrics), it should shock no one if Peterson returns from injury rejuvenated, motivated and back to bowling over defensive backs.

As for vengeance on the Vikings, Peterson will have a chance to exact revenge right off the bat, as the Saints visit Minnesota in Week 1 on Monday Night Football. #GetYourPopcornReady.

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