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One of the greatest running backs ever wants to see his position group get more respect from NFL teams
Adrian Peterson has made a lot of money in his 13-year NFL career but he has also seen a lot of changes. Since Peterson entered the league in 2007, there has been a pretty dramatic shift in the way NFL teams play and pay running backs. In the past, most teams tended to have one lead running back who would handle the bulk of the carries for his team. It was not uncommon for backs to carry the ball 300 to 350 times in a season and some backs, like Larry Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs and Jamal Anderson of the Atlanta Falcons, even toted the ball over 400 times in a single season. As time passed, however, teams started gathering more data on just how taxing playing the running back position was. As the carries piled up, so did the injuries. At a certain point, teams started pulling back on the carries and the contracts for veteran backs.
Peterson, in a recent conversation with TMZ, thinks the trend is “disrespectful.”
It is no surprise Peterson feels this way. He has had injuries during his career but for the most part, he has been an absolute productive wrecking ball. The man they call “All Day” has amassed 3036 carries, over 14,000 yards and 111 touchdowns in his career. Guys like Peterson and Frank Gore, who Peterson cites in the TMZ interview, are more outliers, however. Most NFL running backs have much shorter careers and there is no denying the position carries a higher risk for injury than say, quarterback.
Most NFL teams are getting much smarter about how they manage their salary caps so while there will certainly be running backs that come along and secure big contracts, it is hard to see Peterson’s wish coming true any time soon.