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Adrian Peterson trade is low-risk desperation for the Cardinals

Well, the Adrian Peterson era didn't last long in New Orleans. After Authentic Jeremy Hill Youth Jersey four games and 81 rushing yards, the Saints have shipped off the free-agent signing to the Cardinals in exchange for a 2018 conditional sixth-round pick. It's not hard to understand why both teams would be on board to make the deal. The Saints might have known it was time to move on from the 32-year-old Peterson in Week 1, when he harangued coach Sean Payton on the sideline for not running the ball frequently enough in the middle of a 29-19 loss to the Vikings on Monday Night Football. Peterson's role in the offense, despite Payton's preseason claims to the contrary, has been murky at best. He has felt like a useless appendage in a Saints backfield that has been built around Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara. With Payton wanting to focus the backfield around two backs each week, Peterson played just six snaps against the Dolphins in London in his final game with the Saints before New Orleans' bye. Given that Peterson can't replicate Kamara's skills, Peterson was likely going to be a third-string back the rest of the way, barring injury to Ingram. If Peterson played special teams, the Saints might have justified keeping him around, but New Orleans was likely trying to save both the $705,882 they owe Peterson for the remainder of the year, and a headache. The Cardinals obviously have a need for a primary running back after David Johnson dislocated his wrist in the season opener. The trade for Peterson might suggest that Arizona isn't optimistic about Johnson's chances of returning this season, despite the fact that Johnson is eligible to return from injured reserve in mid-November. Coach Bruce Arians has suggested the Cardinals are hoping to get Johnson back in the lineup by Christmas, which would be good for only the final two games of the season. If the Cardinals are out of the playoff picture or if Johnson isn't 100 percent, it would hardly be surprising to see Arizona keep Johnson sidelined for the rest of the season. You might argue that the 2-3 Cardinals are already out of the playoff picture, given that their two wins have been over the lowly Colts and 49ers in games that went to overtime. The ascension of the Rams hasn't helped Arizona's chances, either. With Carson Palmer & Co. facing one of the league's toughest remaining schedules, ESPN's Football Power Index gives the Cardinals just a 6.9 percent chance of making it to the postseason, down from 44.3 percent before the regular season began. The trade for Peterson suggests the Cardinals aren't giving up, which shouldn't be a surprise. This is a veteran team built to try to win during the final moments in the careers of arguably the three most important Roger Lewis Womens Jerseypeople in the organization. Larry Fitzgerald is a free agent after the season and reports have suggested 2017 will be his last year. Palmer turns 38 in December and will consider his future after this season. The 65-year-old Arians fought kidney cancer last year. The Cardinals are staring down a rebuild that might be only months away from beginning. They can't afford to treat this like a lost season. While the Cardinals shouldn't trade future first-round picks to try to target a veteran who might keep them afloat (as the Raiders once did to acquire Palmer), their running back situation was a mess. They had replaced Johnson with Kerwynn Williams and then Chris Johnson, the latter of whom had been released in training camp and has now been released again. Neither back had been effective, with the duo combining to average an unreal 2.3 yards per carry. With David Johnson out of the lineup during the past four weeks, the Cardinals had cost themselves 0.23 wins with their rushing attack, according to ESPN Stats & Information, topping only the Giants. The Cardinals have used Andre Ellington as their third-down back, but Arians is famously loathe to give Ellington a larger role in the offense. Peterson's skill set -- or relative lack of ability as a receiver and blocker -- should theoretically make him a good fit alongside Ellington. Arizona should be able to use Peterson as a two-down back and get him involved early and often. It also helps that Arians' offense is built around keeping his quarterback under center. Just 13 percent of Arizona's run plays have come out of the shotgun this season, the second-lowest rate in the league. Peterson hasn't run the ball much out of the shotgun in the course of his career, with just 135 of his 2,445 rushing attempts coming out of the shotgun or pistol, and he has been far better under center. AD has averaged 4.9 yards per carry under center and 3.7 yards out of the shotgun.

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