Saints Adrian Peterson will turn out like Earl Campbell or John Riggins in the end

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 18: Adrian Peterson
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 18: Adrian Peterson /

The New Orleans Saints have acquired a future Hall of Famer over the offseason. No one will deny that Adrian Peterson will find his way there eventually. Ultimately, there were two running backs that performed very differently over the age of 30 years old. Both backs are in the Hall of Fame. Both also came to the end quite differently.

In reality, most running backs have cashed in their chips after 30 years old. Adrian Peterson though, is looking to add to his illustrious career in a black and gold uniform. Peterson is 32 years old and looking for that elusive Super Bowl ring.

Early looks in OTA’s have his new teammate mesmerized with his talent. Even at 32, he looks to possess the same type of incredible talent shown in earlier years. The season is still far from starting. However, there is two running backs that come to mind that ran themselves in to the Hall of Fame, in two different ways later in their career.

Earl Campbell

See if this sounds familiar from former coach Bum Phillips:

"“I always thought Earl was a good back. I’ve never had too many good players. This gives us a heck of a backfield. I doubt if he and George would play in the same backfield in too many situations, but they might."

That was a quote from the New York times about 33 years ago in 1984. “George” was a reference to former Saints RB George Rogers back in the day. Rogers was one of the best in my opinion. His career ended probably earlier than most would have thought. He had plenty of nagging injuries along with some drug issues that hampered him towards the end. Still, Rogers put up over 7,000 yards and 54 TDs in seven years.

Regardless, Campbell came into New Orleans with high hopes and great optimism. Campbell’s retirement came as a surprise in 1986. That being said, Campbell only managed to drum up a little over 200 yards when he came to the Saints in a trade. Campbell had just turned 30 years old when he retired.

John Riggins

On the other hand, there was the other Hall of Famer John Riggins. Riggins’ career spanned over 14 years, all the way to 36 years old. He had two 1,000 plus yard seasons and career bests in rushing touchdowns after the age of 33 years old. Riggins posted 1,347 yards on 347 carries and 24 rushing TD’s in 1983. Additionally, in 1984 Riggins followed that up with 1,239 yards on 327 carries and 14 rushing TD’s. The stats are mind-blowing.

Surely, both running backs Campbell and Riggins are different. Riggins played the role of fullback for nearly 10 of those years. That being said, his amazing success came way later in his career almost to the age of 37. Both guys deserve the accolades for incredible careers. However, it was Riggins that flourished late in his career where earl Campbell barely made it to 30.

Riggins also had the luxury of playing for the same team his whole career. Both men clocked over 2,000 carries, and Riggins nearly hit 3,000. Currently, Adrian Peterson has 2,418 carries, which is right smack in the middle. In the end, Peterson’s legacy will be compared over the whole course of his career. With the right amount of work, Peterson could be very special or very disappointing. Time will tell…