Mark down New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees as someone excited about the team’s backfield going into next year.
Most seemed to shrug off the Saints adding veteran Adrian Peterson in free agency. It was a bit of a bargain buy, as Peterson likely settled for a contract right before the draft so he’d actually be able to play next year. The Saints ended up drafting Alvin Kamara in the third round anyway.
For Brees, though, the arrival of Peterson is an upgrade, as he told Michael David Smith of PFT Live:
“That’s obviously a huge pickup. You’re talking about the leading NFL rusher two years ago,” Brees said. “The combination of him and Mark Ingram as a 1-2 punch for us I think has the ability to be tremendous.”
Brees had it good last year because of the 27-year-old Ingram, who ran for 1,043 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. The team managed to keep him relatively fresh, giving him just 205 carries.
In theory, Peterson helps keep both guys fresh. But he simply hasn’t been reliable over the past three years, playing in one game in 2014, 16 in 2015 and three in 2016. He’s 32 years old, so this feels more like a kick-the-tires moment on a big name than a serious strategy. If it works, great. If not, it was a cheap gamble.
Ask Brees, though, and this is a great thing. And if it pans out, he’ll be 100 percent correct.