“I’m going to be blunt and honest with you. 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."
Adrian Peterson has rushed for 10,190 yards and 86 touchdowns through eight seasons in the NFL, and he didn't even play in 15 games last season because of a suspension.
He has more rushing yards and touchdowns than Eddie George, Earl Campbell and Terry Allen, each of whom have a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame; so when Peterson, per the Star Tribune, says he thinks he's already a hall of famer, he's probably right on the money.
The "greatest ever" talk with Peterson was spawned by the Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, Ohio, where Vikings great Mick Tingellhoff was inducted and the Vikings defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 14-3, in the first preseason game of the NFL season.
Peterson didn't play in the game and he probably won't see any action in the four remaining preseason games either.
But Peterson, now 30 years old, doesn't just want to be the best running back of all time – he wants to be "the greatest player" to ever play.
If you ask Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, Peterson isn't quite in the conversation for best running back ever. Smith wrote:
"Peterson will likely get to the Hall of Fame, but he hasn’t dominated his era the way Jim Brown did. He hasn’t combined great regular-season production with postseason accomplishments the way Emmitt Smith did. He doesn’t have a highlight reel like Barry Sanders. He’s not the greatest running back in NFL history, and at the age of 30 he’s already on the down side of his career."
It's a pretty good bet that Peterson will have his own bust in the Hall of Fame someday, but he's already in Canton for a couple of reasons. The Pioneer Press notes that Peterson's full jersey from his MVP season in 2012 is in the Hall, along with recognition of his NFL record 296 rushing yards in a 2007 game against the San Diego Chargers.