Adrian Peterson turned down a chance to dance with the stars while eyeing a potential NFL comeback, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The NFL star, who led the league in rushing in 2008, 2012 and 2015, reportedly turned down a contract from ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” in September. Schefter, citing sources close to the situation, reports the show offered Peterson $150,000 for the rehearsal period, adding he could have earned up to $335,000 on the show.
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To compare, the Titans reportedly signed Peterson to their practice squad for just $140,000, per Spotrac. The deal is below the preseason veteran minimum deal, which would have netted the 15th-year running back roughly $1.075 million.
Peterson reportedly turned down ABC’s offer as he thought he had a chance to return to play for the Ravens, who lost three running backs to season-ending injuries in the preseason. Baltimore ultimately decided not to go with Peterson, instead relying on the rushing acumen of Lamar Jackson — who leads the team with 76 attempts and 480 yards — on top of a running back trio consisting of Latavius Murray, Ty’Son Williams and DeVonta Freeman. They have combined for 112 rushes for 501 yards and seven scores.
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Peterson ultimately got his shot with the Titans. Tennessee signed the veteran to replace two-time defending rushing leader Derrick Henry, who was well on his way to winning the title for a third straight year on top of challenging for a second consecutive 2,000-yard rushing season. Henry is out for the foreseeable future after undergoing surgery on Tuesday after suffering a foot injury in a Week 8 victory over the Colts.
Peterson, 36, last played for the Lions in 2020, playing in all 16 games and starting in 10. He rushed 156 times for 604 yards (3.9 yards per attempt) and seven touchdowns. The four-time All-Pro will team up alongside Jeremy McNichols (seven rushes for 38 yards in 2021) as the Titans’ new running back tandem.
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Peterson is certainly an upgrade for the Titans’ suddenly depleted running back depth, but it’s also worth monitoring how much the team’s passing game is affected.
Henry’s rushing threat consistently opened up passing lanes for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has completed 172 of 262 passes for 2.002 yards and 10 touchdowns to seven interceptions through Week 9. His connection with A.J. Brown and Julio Jones sans Henry will be worth monitoring.