The Arizona Cardinals traded for future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson to bolster their depleted, unproductive backfield on Tuesday. To create space for Peterson, they cut Chris Johnson, which might seem like an insignificant move considering Johnson’s lack of production. It’s anything but insignificant for Johnson, though.
This is a story of a tweet gone wrong.
In four games with the Saints, Peterson garnered 27 carries for 81 yards and two catches for 4 yards, which means he averaged 7.25 touches per game and 21.25 yards per game. In his decade-long career with the Vikings, Peterson averaged 19.7 touches and 111.3 yards per game. So, no, Peterson wasn’t being used nearly as much as he — and Johnson — was used to.
Peterson will likely see a bigger role on the Cardinals. But, at first, some thought that the two formerly great running backs could coexist in the backfield.
Johnson’s tweet went horribly wrong, though. The Cardinals cut him hours later.
His response? He could only laugh at what just happened.
To sum up:
So that could be how Johnson’s NFL career ends. Age appears to have won out. Johnson is 32, and he averaged 2.5 yards per carry this year and 3.8 last year. He hasn’t eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark since 2013.
If this does mark the end of his career, Johnson will down as one of the most explosive running backs at his peak, who gave us a magical 2,000-yard season with the Titans in 2009. Johnson actually ranks ahead of players like Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, Shaun Alexander and Matt Forte in career rushing yards. Don’t let his lackluster final few seasons distract you from how good he was in his prime.
As for Peterson, well, his days also appear to be numbered. We’ll see if Arizona can extend his career for a few more years. He’s definitely not the first older all-time great running back to seek salvation in the desert.