Adrian Peterson is set to return for his 15th NFL season in 2021 as one of the most decorated running backs in league history. With seven Pro-Bowl selections, four All-Pro honors, eight 1,000+ rushing yard seasons and a league MVP award, the veteran RB has accomplished pretty much everything you can as an NFL superstar.
But, there’s one accolade Peterson still needs under his belt: a Super Bowl championship.
Earlier this offseason, the former Minnesota running back told SiriusXM Radio that he hopes to play for a title contender in 2021.
“I’m looking for a contender,” Peterson said. “I’m looking for a team that’s built to go and chase a championship. That’s my ultimate goal and I feel like I can really help to contribute in accomplishing that. A team with a good quarterback, a good defense and some playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. For me to be able to get into that type of situation would be perfect.”
"I'm looking for a team that's built to go and chase a championship."
Free Agent RB @AdrianPeterson discussed heading into his 15th season in the NFL.
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) April 20, 2021
With those requirements in mind, only a select few teams fit the bill. NFL insider Gary Davenport of Blecher Report gave his top-three most realistic landing spots for the 36-year-old back.
Despite going 12-4 last season, the Steelers run game was severely lacking in 2020. The team finished dead last in the NFL with just 84.4 rushing yards per game. No Pittsburgh player even came close to breaking the 1,000+ mark as James Conner led the way with 721 yards on the year.
With Conner leaving the team to join the Arizona Cardinals in free agency, that already-slim running back depth chart got even more thin this offseason. If Peterson were to join the Pittsburgh roster in 2021, it would likely be as a secondary back to a talented rookie RB selected in this year’s draft (ie. Najee Harris).
Like the Steelers, the Dolphins also struggled in the run game this past season — finishing the year in the No. 22 position with just 105.5 yards per game. Leading the team with 584 yards and three rushing touchdowns on the year, it’s abundantly clear that 2020 starter Myles Gaskin needs some help producing for the Miami offense.
While it may not be the title contender he’s looking for, Peterson could play a bigger role in this backup position.
Kansas City Chiefs
Here’s the title contender he’s looking for. With one of the most potent offenses in the NFL, the Chiefs don’t need too much help when it comes to yard production.
That being said, their rushing attack isn’t quite where it could be. Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the way last year with 803 yards, but the next leading rusher was quarterback Patrick Mahomes with 308. Peterson could provide some some extra rushing help to complement the league-leading passing attack.