If Frank Gore can do it, why not Adrian Peterson? The NFL’s fifth all-time leading rusher plans on returning for a 15th season, but wants to finally have an opportunity at a Super Bowl ring. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a team Peterson is targeting, fitting since they are the defending Super Bowl champions and will have a chance at repeating with Tom Brady as their quarterback.
“That would definitely be something I’m interested in, playing with Tom Brady. That by itself is enticing,” Peterson said to TMZ Sports this week. “If they want me to be a part of it, I’ll be a part of it for sure. Because I’m definitely trying to add a trophy to my résumé.”
Peterson, who texted Brady during Super Bowl week, is inspired by Brady playing at a high level at 43 years old. Playing that well in his 40s inspires Peterson to keep going, especially since his ability to score touchdowns hasn’t diminished. Peterson’s 19 touchdowns over the past three seasons are more than Saquon Barkley and Joe Mixon.
He has a connection to the Buccaneers outside of Brady, as head coach Bruce Arians traded for Peterson in the middle of the 2017 season.
“When you see those other guys playing into their 40s — even though it’s a different position — for me that’s motivation,” Peterson said. “That’s telling me I’m heading down the right path.”
Peterson rushed for 604 yards on 156 carries and seven touchdowns in 16 games for the Detroit Lions at age 35. The veteran running back was released by the Washington Football Team days before the 2020 season, yet still managed to start 10 games for Detroit.
Peterson has 14,820 rushing yards for his career, just 450 yards from passing Barry Sanders for fourth on the all-time list. His 118 rushing touchdowns are fourth on the all-time list, just six away from passing Marcus Allen for third (123).
There are still individual milestones for Peterson to achieve, but the Super Bowl ring is what he covets. If Brady endorses Peterson to join Tampa Bay, there’s a good chance he’ll be playing for the Buccaneers in 2021.