The relationship between Adrian Peterson and the New Orleans Saints was rocky from the start.
And it ended up being just as brief.
Four games after inking Peterson to a contract worth at least $7 million, the Saints have traded him to the Arizona Cardinals, who apparently can’t rely on enough washed-up skill-position players.
Trade! The New Orleans Saints have traded Adrian Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals for a conditional pick per sources
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) October 10, 2017
In their season-opening loss to Peterson’s former team, the back and head coach Sean Payton appeared to have an intense disagreement on the sideline.
Both player and coach predictably downplayed the incident after the 29-19 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
“We weren’t in any heated exchange,” Peterson said. “I’d tell you if we were in a heated exchange, so why don’t you ask him? I think he was into it; we were all into it. There was none that I can recall, and I’m being honest. … One thing I said to him was let’s run this inside zone, and we came out and we ran it.”
“It’s a tough one to start the season with,” Payton said during his postgame press conference. “I don’t know where to begin. First off, obviously we settled for too many field goals offensively and all of a sudden got in a catch-up mode.”
While a rough relationship with the head coach certainly wouldn’t help, likely the most central factor to Peterson’s being traded is that he was clearly at best the team’s third-best option at running back.
What pushed New Orleans to trade Adrian Peterson to Arizona is the team’s feeling about RB Alvin Kamara.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 10, 2017
Peterson has rushed 27 times for a paltry 81 yards (three yards per carry). Starter Mark Ingram has rushed 42 times for 170 yards (a hair over four yards per carry) and Kamara, a rookie, has rushed 15 times for 83 yards (5.5 yards per carry).
Additionally, Ingram and Kamara excel in the passing game, whereas when Peterson checks into the game, the opposition knows a run is coming.
In Arizona, Peterson, 32, will join 38-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer, 32-year-old running back Chris Johnson (replacing the injured David Johnson), and 34-year-old wideout Larry Fitzgerald as the leaders of an offense for a 2-3 team.
The Cardinals have a team option on Peterson for next season.