Adrian Peterson isn't going to fix the Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals made a big-name trade Tuesday, bringing former NFL most valuable player Adrian Peterson into the running back corps after his four-game stint with the New Orleans Saints.

Peterson is one of football's most recognizable 21st-century names and he's made it to seven Pro Bowls in his 10 NFL seasons.

He's also a bit of an artifact from the old NFL.

TRADE: Cardinals acquire RB Adrian Peterson

We hear stories all the time of successful quarterbacks who are uncomfortable taking a snap under center -- Paxton Lynch, Mitch Trubisky.

But the spread offense has made its influence felt by the NFL, too, and one of the most impacted positions is running back.

Peterson is a downhill runner who is limited working out of the shotgun. He's far from the only running back who prefers a more traditional offensive framework, but he's one of the oldest still working in the NFL, and his history of two knee injuries won't help him become quicker moving laterally.

Granted, he's been working in a new offense in New Orleans, but his workload -- 81 yards on 27 carries -- has not been encouraging. The Saints didn't want a headache from their unproductive third-string running back.

So expecting better production from Peterson here in Arizona doesn't make any sense.

He'll have to learn another new offense, and it's not a smashmouth Big Ten-style playbook that makes use of Peterson's style.

Perhaps the most valuable asset held by the ultra-valuable David Johnson is his ability to catch the ball. It means the Cardinals could split him out wide, use him as a safety valve when Carson Palmer couldn't find an open receiver downfield, and design plays out of the backfield to get him mismatches.

But Peterson doesn't have that skill. And even if he did, it wouldn't solve the Cardinals problems.

Arizona is 27th in the league in points allowed, giving up 25 points per game in 2017.

Carson Palmer ranks 24th out of 32 qualified quarterbacks in ESPN's QBR, at least in part because his offensive line has struggled protecting him -- he's tied with Aaron Rodgers for tops in the NFL at 19 sacks.

Adrian Peterson doesn't play defense, quarterback or offensive line.

The Cardinals also rank dead last in the league in rushing yards, yards per attempt, and rushing yards per game.

Even if the trade got some of Arizona's star players excited, it's more for the fans in the stands than it is for the product on the field.

Two teams have decided this calendar year that they don't want Adrian Peterson anymore. His third team of 2017 has too many issues to expect him to solve its disappointing season.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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