"Absolutely," Payton said emphatically. "This gets back to the notion that we had some type of any (sideline) argument at Minnesota (in Week 1 of the 2017 regular season), which I still say there was none. I think a ton of him."
Nevertheless, the Saints eventually traded Peterson to the Cardinals on Oct. 10 after four regular-season games. Peterson's stop in New Orleans resulted in 81 yards rushing on 27 carries, averaging 3 yards per attempt, and two catches for 4 yards.
He had better success in Arizona with a featured role, totaling 448 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 129 carries before a neck injury landed him on injured reserve to close out the season.
For now, the Saints aren't in the market to bring in a veteran to bolster the backfield with Ingram's looming suspension. The team appears comfortable with Kamara, Jonathan Williams, Daniel Lasco, Trey Edmunds and rookie Boston Scott.
But circumstances in New Orleans could change ahead of training camp, and Peterson apparently won't be far from Payton's radar should that scenario develop.
"That would the part where if all of a sudden we decided, hey, we're going to look at additional players that are on the street," Payton said. "And certainly his name -- there'd be a few others -- we have them on the board right now. Who's available, veteran running backs, stacked on a board and graded. But, listen, he's a tough player, warrior, and a great worker, and we have a good relationship."