- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Adrian Peterson turns 36 next month. But in an interview with TMZ, the former Washington running back has no plans to hang up his cleats any time soon.

In fact, Peterson is more focused on accomplishing a goal that he has long pursued: Breaking Emmitt Smith‘s rushing record.

Peterson told TMZ Sports that he wants to play at least until age 40 and aims to surpass Smith‘s all-time record of 18,355 career rushing yards. Peterson currently sits fifth on the all-time list with 14,820 yards. He needs to 449 yards to surpass Barry Sanders for fourth. 

“I want to live to be a 40-year-old back out there rushing for 1,500 yards and amazing people still,” Peterson said. 

First: Peterson will have to latch onto a team for the 2021 season. Set to become a free agent, Peterson has expressed interest in joining the defending-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the former MVP has yet to win a Super Bowl. Despite his age, Peterson was relatively productive last year with the Detroit Lions — rushing for 604 yards on 156 carries and seven touchdowns. 

Peterson spent two seasons with Washington across 2018 and 2019 — revitalizing his career. Filling in for an injured Derrius Guice, Peterson became Washington‘s rushing leader in each season and emerged as a vocal leader in the locker room. Washington released him just prior to the 2020 season as the team aimed to go younger at the position. Peterson latched on with Detroit shortly after. 

If Peterson is actually able to play until he’s 40 years old, he would need to average at least 708 yards per year over the next five seasons to break Smith‘s record.

The Jets’ Frank Gore was the league’s oldest running back last year at 37 years old.

“I’m going to keep playing, trying to chase the championship and, God’s willing, within the process of doing that, I’m able to catch Emmitt and pass him,” Peterson said.

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