- The Washington Times - Friday, September 4, 2020

Washington released running back Adrian Peterson on Friday, the team announced.

The move came as a surprise as the 35-year-old had been running with the starters throughout training camp. The team had also picked up Peterson’s contract option earlier in the offseason.

Peterson spent the last two years with Washington, revitalizing his career. He was the team’s leading rusher in both years and Washington had also come to appreciate the veteran’s leadership.

But now, Washington, in its first year under coach Ron Rivera, is set to go in a different direction. Third-rounder Antonio Gibson and veteran J.D. McKissic — both of whom were added in the offseason— are expected to be heavily involved in the offense as both running backs are versatile.

Offensive coordinator Scott Turner likes to use running backs in the passing game, which could help explain why Peterson was released. The former MVP is more of a pure runner.

By cutting Peterson, Washington saves nearly $2.5 million in salary cap space. The team now has four running backs on its roster: Gibson, McKissic, Bryce Love and Peyton Barber. 

Peterson is also the second back the team has moved on from his offseason. Washington cut Derrius Guice last month after the 23-year-old was arrested on domestic violence charges. 

The NFL Network first reported the news. 

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