Skip to main content

Would Peterson's longevity goal be unprecedented?

Adrian Peterson said this week that he'd like to play until he's 37 or 38 years old. Hmmmm.

That's pretty old for a football player. It's really old for a running back, a position that has turned players on the wrong side of 30 into an endangered species. What does that make running backs over 35? The woolly mammoth? The dodo bird? The Pyrenean ibex?

(OK, I just Googled "most famous extinct animals." What of it!)

Now we're not going to sit in front of a laptop and dismiss the aspirations of Adrian Freaking Peterson. This is guy who once tore up his knee in December, then ran for 2,000 yards the following season. The man's intestinal fortitude is well proven.

But since we're here, let's see what Peterson, now 32 years old, is up against historically. We can do that thanks to the stone-cold killers over in the NFL Media Research Department (NFLMRD -- pronounced nef-el-merd). Let's dig in ...

Age 36

Most Carries: Marcus Allen -- 206 in 1996

Most Rush Yards: Marcus Allen -- 830 in 1996

Most Rush TD: Marcus Allen -- 9 in 1996

Thoughts: The Marcus Allen Gets Revenge On Al Davis Tour was one of my favorite slabs of '90s beef. Also worth considering: If Allen was utilized as much as his skill-set deserved during the second half of his Raiders career, would he have had anything left in the tank by the time he got to Kansas City?

Age 37

Most Carries: Marcus Allen -- 124 in 1997

Most Rush Yards: Marcus Allen -- 505 in 1997

Most Rush TD: Marcus Allen -- 11 in 1997

Thoughts: There's that man again. Allen quit football after that age-37 season, got inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, took a few stabs as an analyst and popped up as a key subject in at least one prominent O.J. Simpson documentary (which, I'm sure, he was thrilled about).

Age 38

Most Carries: Lorenzo Neal -- 12 in 2008

Most Rush Yards: Tony Richardson -- 48 in 2009

Most Rush TD: Jim Thorpe -- 2 in 1926

Notes: Welcome to uncharted territory. Oh, hi Jim Thorpe.

In summation: If Adrian Peterson can be a productive running back five years from now, Marcus Allen will be the only company he'll share. The odds are against Peterson, but again, I'm not in the doubting All Day business.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content