Ray Lewis: Adrian Peterson will have to make Barry Sanders decision
Like Sanders, Peterson is one of the best backs ever but has enjoyed only mediocre results during his NFL career. Most of that is due to having poor quarterbacks. With the exception of the magical 12-4 2009 season under Brett Favre, Peterson hasn’t come close to a Super Bowl. After watching the Vikings get embarrassed on “Monday Night Football,” Lewis, speaking on the ESPN set, brought up the possibility that Peterson might have to walk away from the game like Barry.
“Me going out on that field tonight and me looking at Adrian Peterson’s eyes, it’s something that I want to bring up that I don’t want to see happen to this young kid. Because we saw it happen to a great one one time before, which was Barry Sanders,” Lewis began.
“If he keeps going down this road, he’s going to have to make a business decision just like Barry Sanders made a while ago. He plays the game with so much passion and so much love, and he plays it so hard … and to do him like that, to surround him with a team like that … I don’t like to see great people go through things like that.
“I think they have to figure it all out organizationally to figure out what is going on with the Minnesota Vikings.”
Peterson is in his seventh season and on his third different starting quarterback this year. He’s gone through guys like Brad Johnson, Tarvaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte before Favre, and he’s endured players like Joe Webb, Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel since. The franchise has done an extremely poor job at that position and wasted many good years of Peterson.
Unlike Barry, I don’t see Peterson walking away from the game (just listen to him talk about breaking this record). However, it is important to note that Peterson is 28 and has carried the ball nearly 2,000 times in his career. It won’t be long before he starts going downhill and we’ll cry about how some of his best years were pissed away because the team thought Tarvaris Jackson or Christian Ponder were the answers at quarterback.