Free agent Adrian Peterson names his 'perfect landing spot'


In Adrian Peterson’s mind, having his football career end in the same place where it started would be a dream scenario.

The future Hall of Famer — who hails from from Palestine, Texas, about three hours north of Houston — think the Texans would be a “perfect landing spot.”

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“It has always been my dream to come back home and play,” Peterson told ESPN on Friday. “Taken that I’ve been living in Houston for over a decade. That would be a perfect landing spot, here in my backyard. That would be very convenient.”

Peterson spent the latter portion of last season on the Arizona Cardinals, though he hurt his neck in Week 12 and didn’t appear in a game again. A Cardinals team doctor eventually told him his neck was fully healed, but Peterson was released earlier this week, as the Cardinals would have owed him a $750,000 roster bonus if he was still on the team on March 16.

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Peterson ran for 529 yards in 2017, playing six games for the Cardinals after four with the New Orleans Saints. He averaged 3.4 yards per carry, the lowest mark of his career in a season where he played in at least 5 games.

While he turns 33 next week, Peterson told a Minnesota Vikings reporter earlier this month that he wanted to play four more seasons. He currently ranks 12th all-time in rushing yards and is tied for ninth in rushing touchdowns.

Before Peterson gets to four years, he needs to find a team who will give him a shot for just one season. He seems to believe the Texans present the best, and most convenient, opportunity. Peterson owns a gym just miles from NRG Stadium in Houston, and prior to signing with the Saints last offseason, he posted many videos of his workouts there.

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Even Texans coach Bill O’Brien was aware of Peterson’s workouts in Houston, and complimented him before the Texans played the Cardinals in November.

“There’s no doubt about the fact that he still has it,” O’Brien said in November. “You think about his workout regimen in the offseason here in Houston, it’s legendary. He’s another guy that’s defying age, especially at that position where basically the history of the game tells you when you’re 30 years or older, that’s about it for you.”

Lamar Miller has been Houston’s starting running back for the past two seasons, but posted a career-low mark of 3.7 yards per carry in 2017. He is owed $14 million over the next two years, but the Texans could save $5.75 million if they make him a post-June cut.

Miller’s backup is currently 2017 third-round draft pick D’Onta Foreman, who also happens to be a Houston native. Foreman had a solid rookie year but tore his Achilles in November and will be questionable for training camp.

Unlike last season, Peterson seems resigned to the fact that he’s not going to get a starting job at this point in his career.

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He even said Friday that he wants to be a piece of the running back rotation and doesn’t have to be the number one back.

“I feel like personally, when I look at the (Texans), I feel like I could add to that running back room and really make a good running game dominant,” he said.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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