The Arizona Cardinals acquired running back Adrian Peterson from the New Orleans Saints for a 2018 draft pick, the team announced Tuesday.
To make room for Peterson on the roster, the Cardinals announced the release of running back Chris Johnson.
Arizona also placed long snapper Aaron Brewer (wrist) on injured reserve and signed Justin Drescher to replace him. Drescher spent the past seven seasons with the Saints before being released on Aug. 30.
As for Peterson … “I’m so ecstatic,” Peterson texted NFL Network’s Stacey Dales after hearing of the trade.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim also was pleased to welcome the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player and seven-time Pro Bowl selection into the fold.
“We are always on the lookout for opportunities to improve our team and we look at this as one of those opportunities,” Keim said. “What Adrian has accomplished in this league is well-established. Our need for a spark in our running game right now is also obvious and we are excited to give him the chance to provide that.”
Peterson fell behind both Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara in the Saints’ backfield. Ingram is leading the team in both carries (42) and rushing yards (170) while Kamara is averaging 5.5 yards per carry to go along with 20 catches for 147 receiving yards.
Peterson has turned 27 carries into just 81 rushing yards in four games this season with the Saints.
Peterson spent his first 10 years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings before his option was not picked up by the club on Feb. 28. The 32-year-old signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Saints in the offseason.
Peterson was seen visibly unhappy with coach Sean Payton during the team’s season-opening game against Minnesota, later saying that he “didn’t sign up for nine snaps.”
His workload didn’t get much better as he finished his final game with the Saints by carrying the ball four times for four yards in a 20-0 win over the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 1.
Arizona has struggled to receive consistent production out of its backfield on the heels of superstar David Johnson fracturing his wrist in the team’s season opener. The Cardinals are averaging league worsts in yards per carry (2.6) and rushing yards per game (51.8), and mustered just 31 rushing yards in Sunday’s 34-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Chris Johnson, 32, is leading the team in carries (45) and rushing yards (114) for a paltry 2.5-yard average.
Kerwynn Williams failed to provide an immediate spark after David Johnson went down. He has turned 19 carries into just 32 yards.
Andre Ellington has proven to be a force in the passing game, reeling in 28 receptions to reside just four behind wideout Larry Fitzgerald for the team lead. Ellington, however, has just 13 carries for 49 rushing yards this season.
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