“Not just the greatest running back,” the Minnesota Vikings running back told the Minnesota Star Tribune about how he'd like to be regarded when he retires. “The greatest player."
As a six-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All-Pro and the 2012 NFL MVP, the 30-year-old Peterson has 10,190 rushing yards and 86 touchdowns to his name in hot pursuit of Emmitt Smith's all-time high mark of 18,355 career running yards. But be clear—Peterson thinks his numbers are Hall of Fame-worthy right now.
“I’m going to be blunt and honest with you," Peterson continued telling the Star Tribune. "I feel like if I didn’t play another snap in my life, I got the opportunity to go in the Hall of Fame right now.”
Moving forward with this 2015 season and beyond, Peterson doesn't think his notorious child-abuse case—which ended in a no contest $4,000 fine and his two-year probation ending 15 months early—will impact his final standing as a player when his career is done.
“I don’t think it will have an impact on how I’m remembered, because at the end of the day, it’s still the game of football; people looking at what you do on the field,” Peterson said. “I think more so the fans of Minnesota [will remember] because it’s your hometown team. But not to the extent that I think you think it will be. I don’t think it will be too damning.”
Last month, Peterson and the Vikings restructured the final three years of his contract. Peterson and the Vikings defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 14-3, in the annual Hall of Fame game Sunday. They kick off their preseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday, before opening up their regular season on the road against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 14.
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