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Peterson Signs With Saints; Will Work Behind Ingram
The Saints and Adrian Peterson finalized a two-year deal Tuesday that will pay the veteran running back $7 million, according to multiple reports. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport notes the deal is guaranteed for 2017, Rapoport added.

The seven-time Pro Bowler now will earn less than incumbent New Orleans starter Mark Ingram, who is coming off the most productive season of his career.

Peterson told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he felt at home in New Orleans, for a number of reasons.

“Most importantly, I chose this team because it just felt right within my spirit,” he said. “On offense, it goes without saying that the Saints are really solid behind Drew Brees. I feel like my skill set can make them even more dominant as a unit. They have a great offensive line, which is something that stood out to me as well. I could tell from talking to head coach Sean Payton over the last two weeks that he did his due diligence in evaluating how I could contribute.

“I also did a lot of homework on the defense as well. While I know that injuries have played a role in performance, I also see areas of potential with a lot of younger guys having the ability to step up. Lastly, it goes without saying that the Saints have an amazing fan base and I look forward to making them proud and creating everlasting memories.”

At this stage in his career, Peterson appeared to be looking to joining a team with a realistic shot at the Super Bowl.

The former Vikings running back visited the Seahawks and Patriots earlier in the free-agent process.

Peterson, 32, played just three games last season because of a torn meniscus suffered on Sept. 18. He carried 37 times for 72 yards last season, returning in less than three months from his injury to play against the Colts on Dec. 18. However, he sat out the Vikings' final two games because of an adductor strain he suffered in his first game back.

Peterson, whose career rushing yards rank second to Frank Gore among active players, has failed to eclipse 40 carries in two of the past three seasons because of suspension and injuries. Even with his league-leading 1,485 rushing yards in 2015, and factoring in his receiving totals, Peterson cost the Vikings about $18,000 per yard over the last three years. He suited up only once in 2014 because of the child abuse case he was involved in.

Since recovering from ACL reconstruction on his left knee to rush for 2,097 yards in 2012 and win the NFL MVP award, Peterson has defied the evidence that running backs wear down by age 30. He has long said he believes he can play deep into his 30s.

Now he'll be working behind Ingram as he tries to make good on that belief.

As's Chris Wesseling noted, Ingram has improved significantly in the passing game over the past two years, which would theoretically position Peterson to concentrate on early-down runs and high-leverage situations such as third-and-short and goal-line carries.

Not that there are all that many carries to go around.

Indeed, New Orleans Advocate beat man Nick Underhill, in confirming that Ingram would be the lead back and Peterson the backup, reminded his Twitter followers the Saints ran the ball 404 times last year. That total ranked 19th in the league.