Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend the Packers were linked to RB Adrian Peterson. Yes, that Adrian Peterson. The former Minnesota Viking running back who torched the Packers defense time after time. But this is not 2012 Adrian Peterson and the Packers have a trio of running backs who can carry the load.
This is not the first time that the Packers have been linked to Adrian Peterson. The two were linked last offseason when Ted Thompson was still General Manager, but that was squashed quickly when he drafted 3 running backs in the NFL draft.
Peterson is old for running back status in the NFL at 33 years old, and is currently a free agent. He mentioned that the Packers as a team he would be a good fit for during an interview with ESPN’s “NFL Live”. The last time Peterson reached 1,000 yards was in 2015. Last year, between his time with the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals, Peterson rushed for 529 yards.
Looking at the way that new Packer GM Brian Gutekunst has constructed, the team is pretty much set at the running back position with Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. Last season, as rookies, Williams and Jones combined for 10 touchdowns and over 1,000 rushing yards. The NFL is a pass first league, with teams utilizing two running backs instead of the standard feature back of years past.
Peterson doesn’t have much left in the tank as last season has shown. With the revamped offense that includes dual threat tight ends Jimmy Graham and Mercedes Lewis, the team is not in need of another running back that needs to get his touches. The Packers have revamped the running back group which consists of Montgomery, Williams and Jones. Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones will split carries and Ty Montgomery will be dual threat who can catch passes out of the backfield. This will make the Packers offense multi-dimensional and tough for opposing defenses to stop.
Peterson is 2 seasons removed from his last 1,000 yard season and has had some injuries. If this was 2015, I would be all over the Packers taking a chance on him, but not any more. He has also shown some deficiencies running out of the shotgun formation, something that Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy like to do when they are lined up in that formation.
McCarthy also prefers the two-back system as opposed to a feature back. This is again something that Peterson has been reluctant to. The Packers have just that right now with Williams and Jones, and the dual threat of Ty Montgomery. The running game was effective last year and had their bright spots with Bret Hundley running the offense. With Aaron Rodgers running the offense, it is going to make the running game even that more effective.
McCarthy has thought the world of Peterson in the past and he made a living gashing the Packers Defense. The time is different now and the Packers have 3 capable backs who can carry the load and take the pressure of Rodgers. Gutekunst and McCarthy will not make a move to bring Peterson in, and it is the right decision with the young talent that they have in the backfield.
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag