Washington Football Team releases Adrian Peterson

Field Level Media

September 04, 2020 at 7:39 pm.

Adrian Peterson was released by the Washington Football Team on Friday.

Head coach Ron Rivera said Peterson’s leadership was valued, especially after Derrius Guice was released amidst off-field turmoil this summer. Rivera also said that he tossed and turned during the night as he pondered how he’d break the news to Peterson.

“For me it was personal,” Rivera said. “It was very difficult. He was a tremendous professional. He thanked me and wished us luck. It epitomizes who he is as a person. I know he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, so it’s tough.”

The Washington Football Team is going with third-round rookie Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic, Bryce Love and Peyton Barber at running back.

“It’s not about what (Peterson) didn’t do, it’s about what these other guys were doing for us and allows us to go in the direction we feel good about,” Rivera said. “The guy’s got football left in him.”

Peterson, 35, is a 13-year veteran who won the 2012 NFL MVP award with the Minnesota Vikings when he rushed for 2,097 yards, just 8 shy of the record held by Eric Dickerson (1984).

A four-time All-Pro, he led the NFL in rushing three times and has 14,216 career rushing yards, which ranks fifth all-time and just over 1,000 yards behind No. 4 Barry Sanders. Frank Gore, who is on the New York Jets’ roster, is third (15,347).

Peterson told Josina Anderson on Friday he plans to pursue a chance to play elsewhere but was caught by surprise when informed of his release.

“I was having a strong camp. It was showing up on film, taking No. 1 reps all the way to this week,” Peterson said. “I just got notified by the running backs coach yesterday that they want to give these young guys some reps, but I didn’t know I was going to get cut, there was no indication.

“Today, Rivera just said this is always tough, but yes we’re gonna release you and go with this offensive style. I respect coach.”

Peterson called Gibson, who had 33 total carries at Memphis and played running back and wide receiver, a “hell of a talent.” According to Peterson, the Washington Football Team plans to give Gibson the chance to be a No. 1 back immediately.

The seventh overall pick in the 2007 draft received a $750,000 signing bonus to rejoin the Washington Football Team in the offseason.

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