Future Hall of Famer Wants Back on Vikings, Eventually.

Future Hall of Famer Wants Back on Vikings, Eventually.
Adrian Peterson

Future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson is nearing the end of his NFL career — if he isn’t there already.

Drafted in 2007 by the Minnesota Vikings, Peterson ranks fifth all-time in rushing yards, trailing the legendary Barry Sanders for fourth place by just 352 yards. He also ranks fourth in rushing touchdowns, needing just four more to pass Marcus Allen for third all-time.

Adrian Peterson / Dalvin Cook
Sep 11, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) talks with New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson (28) following the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

And those numbers are why Peterson is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, spending his first ten seasons with the Vikings. After that, Peterson played for an extensive list of teams, including the Saints, Cardinals, Commanders, Lions, Titans, and Seahawks.

Left up to Peterson, though, he’d like to return to the Vikings, where it all began for the 37-year-old. In the Twin Cities last weekend, Peterson was asked by FOX 9 about a return to the Vikings, responding with this:

“I’ve seen stranger things happen. But they’re set with [Dalvin Cook], he’s just a great talent. Who knows? It could possibly happen. But when it’s time for me to retire, of course, I’ll be back in a purple uniform, for sure.”

– Adrian Peterson

Indeed, Minnesota doesn’t need a running back right now — in any capacity, really — possessing Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, and Kene Nwangwu on the roster. So, the theoretical addition of Peterson anytime soon to the Vikings roster is wildly unlikely.

Dalvin Cook & Adrian Peterson
Oct 24, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Washington Commanders running back Adrian Peterson (26) talks with Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) following the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

If Peterson plotted retirement plans, however — which is typically what running backs over the age of 35 do — signing with Minnesota for a final “one-day contract” adds up.

In his long career, Peterson reached the postseason four times — all with the Vikings — with the only win as the playoff game back in 2009 when the Vikings crushed the Dallas Cowboys at the Metrodome. Otherwise, Vikings teams with Peterson on the roster finished 1-4 (.200) overall in postseason contests.

Peterson states, almost annually, his desire to play “a few more years,” so that soundbite is likely on the way in the coming weeks or months. Usually, he signs on with a team needing an RB2 or RB3, scores a few touchdowns, that team fails to qualify for the playoffs — and then on to the next one.

It is unclear if that habit will continue in his 16th season.

Peterson ranks second on the Vikings all-time list for touchdowns (102), trailing Cris Carter by eight scores (110).


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).