It's hard to argue that Adrian Peterson isn't a Hall of Fame contender. He's put up monster numbers over his career, propelling the Vikings (almost single-handedly at times) to some of the wins they had since joining the team in 2007. After the Vikings and Peterson parted ways following the 2016 season, he landed a spot with the New Orleans Saints for four games in 2017 before finishing out the year with the Arizona Cardinals.

Peterson ended the 2017 season just 36 yards shy of tying the 10th spot on the all-time rushing yards list. That, by itself, is pretty amazing. Especially when you consider that he had two different seasons (2014 and 2016) of his 11-year career where he posted less than 100 total rushing yards.

After the Cardinals decided not to bring Peterson back for 2018, he was left waiting through the entire offseason to see if another team wanted his services. Nothing. The preseason started, and still no team for AP. Finally, as we enter Week 3 of the NFL Preseason, Peterson has found a team interested in giving AP a chance to contribute, and an opportunity to work his way into the top 10 all-time rushing yards list.

AP tweeted Monday that he signed a deal with the Washington Redskins, joining a backfield that also features Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, and a handful of other (likely practice squad or soon-to-be-cut) names.

Peterson is currently ranked 12th overall in career rushing yards according to Pro Football Reference, falling just behind Hall of Famers #11 Marshall Faulk and #10 Jim Brown. For Peterson to get into the top 10, he would need to best the 36-yard difference between Jim Brown and himself. He could claim the 9th place spot if he rushes for more than 463 yards, putting him ahead of Tony Dorsett. Shooting for 8th best all-time and beating Eric Dickerson would require him to put in over 983 rushing yards, which is starting to ask a lot of a running back his age. It isn't impossible, but with a crowded backfield of multi-talented rushers (that can also catch the ball) in Washington, he is guaranteed to be splitting time, making almost 1,000 yards this season a challenge.

Being we're at it, here's how many yards Peterson would need to leapfrog the other all-time rushing leaders. Definitely not happening this year, but we'll entertain the idea of him continuing to play for a few more years. Here is the breakdown of the yardage AP will need before he retires to land further up the list:

  • To beat Jerome Bettis for 7th place, he'll need more than 1,386 yards
  • To beat LaDamian Tomlinson for 6th place, he'll need more than 1,408 yards
  • To beat Frank Gore for 5th place, he'll need more than 1,750 yards
  • To beat Curtis Martin for 4th place, he'll need more than 1,825 yards

Now we get into really unlikely territory, among the most elite names ever to play the position.

  • To beat Barry Sanders for 3rd place, he'll need more than 2,993 yards
  • To beat Walter Payton for 2nd place, he'll need more than 4,450 yards
  • To beat Emmitt Smith for the best overall career rushing yards record, he'll need more than 6,079 yards


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