One of the biggest moves of the NFL offseason was the Minnesota Vikings parting ways with star running back Adrian Peterson and watching him sign with the New Orleans Saints.
Though he's now 32 years of age, Peterson still believes he is one of the best running backs in the league, and is eager to prove that this fall in New Orleans.
Fortunately for Peterson, he'll have a quick opportunity to show his former team what they're missing out on, as the Saints travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings on Monday, Sept. 11.
Since the Super Bowl will also be held in Minnesota this year, Peterson told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he wants to make it back to the Vikings' home stadium at the end of the season to hoist the Lombardi Trophy:
“In my mind, we’re starting and ending the season in Minnesota,” said Peterson, referring to Super Bowl LII. “Of course I want to stick it to them. I want to stick it to everyone we play. But going back to Minnesota, playing the Vikings? Yeah, I want to stick it to them.”
Peterson will share running back duties with fellow veteran Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara in New Orleans this year, so his overall stats may go down. However, if he's able to stay fresher, his effectiveness could skyrocket.
Peterson said he's eager to get started in coach Sean Payton's system and added that he understands why the Vikings let him go, but that he doesn't necessarily agree with their decision:
“Whatever floats their boat,” Peterson said. “Teams run different styles of offense. The Saints are a dominant pass team. But they’re trying to be more balanced, so Sean pursued me. I know what I can do. Whatever Minnesota feels like will advance them, they should go for it. I am.”
Last year, the Saints finished a disappointing 7-9 and missed out on the playoffs, but the Vikings didn't fare much better, also falling short of postseason play with an 8-8 mark.
Whatever happens in Minnesota on Monday night, it's sure to be an emotional affair for Peterson and the Vikings, as the offseason was full of drama and perceived slights.
Peterson ran for only 72 yards in three games last season and did not score a touchdown, but is only one year removed from 2015, when he ran for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns.
It's safe to say he'll be motivated to have another big season now that he's a member of the Saints.