WASHINGTON — The Washington Football team has released veteran running back Adrian Peterson. The team made the announcement in a tweet Friday morning.
Peterson, 35, has spent 13 years in the NFL, the last two seasons of which were in Washington.
Peterson is currently No. 5 on the NFL's all-time rushing leaders list behind Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Frank Gore and Barry Sanders. He was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 2012 and is a 7-time Pro-Bowl selection.
The news comes as teams face a September 5 deadline to cut their rosters to 53 players.
Washington selected Antonio Gibson as the 66th pick overall in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft Gibson has made a name for himself as a very versatile player, operating as both a wide receiver and a running back at the University of Memphis. He averaged 11.7 yards after the catch per reception, the most among draft-eligible players this year.
It's the latest news in what has already been a tumultuous year for the Washington team.
Back in July, the team announced it would be retiring its 87-year-old nickname and logo.
Dan Snyder, who had been adamant throughout his ownership of the team that the nickname should not be changed, reversed course after the weight put on him amid calls for social justice changes in the United States, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Rumors of minority owners wanting to sell their stake in the team and corporate sponsors reviewing their relationships with the team added to the pressure.
Then, coming on the heels of that decision, news broke via The Washington Post of sexual assault harassment allegations within the Washington Football Team's operations. The NFL is currently investigating.
Meanwhile, the team's head coach Ron Rivera recently announced has been diagnosed with lymph node cancer.
A team statement said that Rivera intends to coach this season.
"Coach Rivera has consulted with leading Doctors and Oncology Specialists and is establishing his treatment plan in conjunction with the team’s medical staff and his outside physicians," a statement from the Washington Football Team said. "For now, Coach has asked that the team keep things business as usual and remain focused, but a 'Plan B' is in place if it is determined that he should take some time off."
On top of all that uncertainty, the coronavirus pandemic still looms, causing the team to play without fans at home games at FedExField during the 2020 season.
The Washington Football team kicks off its season against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 13.