Adrian Peterson Net Worth & Biography




Adrian Peterson is an American football running back for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Oklahoma, where he set the freshman rushing record with 1,925 yards during the 2004 season.

Named a unanimous All-American that year, he became the first freshman to finish as a runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Peterson finished his college football career as the Sooners' third all-time leading rusher. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest running backs in football history.

He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings seventh overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he set an NFL record for the most rushing yards in a single game (296) and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

He was then awarded the MVP award for his performance in the Pro Bowl and became only the fifth player in NFL history to have more than 3,000 yards through his first two seasons. In 2010, he became the fifth-fastest player to run for 5,000 yards, doing so in his 51st game. As of , Adrian Peterson has an estimated net worth of about $2M.

At a Glance

Full name: Adrian Lewis Peterson

Other names: Adrian Peterson

Birthday: March 21, 1985


Net worth: $2M

Occupation: American Football Player, NFL Player.

Nationality: United States of America.

Net Worth

In 2012, Peterson became the sixth-fastest player to reach 8,000 rushing yards, ending the season with 2,097 rushing yards, just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season all-time record. Peterson amassed 2,314 all-purpose yards from scrimmage in 2012, tying Marcus Allen for the eighth-highest total ever.

For his efforts, he received the NFL MVP Award and the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award for the 2012 NFL season. During the 2013 season, Peterson became the third-fastest player to reach 10,000 rushing yards in NFL history. In 2015, Peterson became the oldest running back to be named first-team All-Pro at 30. As of , Adrian Peterson has an estimated net worth of about $2M.

Early Life

Peterson was born in Palestine, Texas, to Bonita Brown and Nelson Peterson, who were also star athletes in college. His father was a shooting guard for Idaho State, but his dream of a National Basketball Association career was derailed when a gun that his brother was cleaning discharged into his leg.

His mother, a three-time Texas state champion at Westwood High School, attended the University of Houston on an athletic scholarship as a sprinter and long jumper. Peterson's best friend was his older brother, Brian. Peterson's father nicknamed him "All Day," because his father said he could go all day.

At age 7, Peterson saw his 9-year-old brother Brian killed by a drunk driver as he rode his bicycle. Around this time Peterson began to deal with his pain through sports and became interested in football. He was the star of his youth football teams and coached by Rick Nally. Peterson said Nally stated at that early age, "we would watch AD play in the NFL one day".

His father Nelson participated as an assistant coach. Peterson played in the popular East Texas, Anderson County Youth Football Program. When Peterson was 13, his father was arrested for money laundering in a crack cocaine ring.

Favorite Quotes from Adrian Peterson

“With trials, you become wiser. You learn more about yourself and the people surrounding you. Me personally, I’ve never been the type of person to judge anyone over wrong-doing, no matter what it is. I’m just not a judgmental person.” – Adrian Peterson
“I thought I was Superman until I experienced that life-changing anaphylactic shock. I was eating lunch and gobbled down a couple of bowls of gumbo. Then, 15 minutes later, I’m in my dorm room resting up. My eyes started itching and my throat was swelling up. I could barely breathe.” – Adrian Peterson
“I get Tweets every day from people telling me that ‘Hey, I’m going to overcome my injury or my illness. Cancer. Different diseases. I can beat it because Adrian Peterson showed me the determination and the willpower to be able to prosper and get through adversity whenever it comes.” – Adrian Peterson
“When you think about little league football, high school, and even on to college even more so, you’re dealing with a lot of guys that are prideful, that think they’re the best – a lot of alpha males. So, typically, you’ve got to have a guy that can control those guys, and, when he talks, they know he means business. He’s a serious guy.” – Adrian Peterson
“Thank you to my family, my fans and fans of other teams for their support. The NFL is a fraternity of brothers and I am thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players. God Bless everyone and thank u so much.” – Adrian Peterson


Peterson was a three-sport standout in football, basketball, and track at Palestine High School. Peterson was most notable in football, which he played during his junior and senior years. During his sophomore year, he was not eligible to play for the Palestine High School Wildcats varsity football team. Peterson's junior season ended with 2,051 yards on 246 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per carry, and 22 touchdowns. It was during his junior year that he began to attract the attention of Division I recruiters and realized he would likely have his pick of colleges after his senior year.

As a senior in 2003, he rushed for 2,960 yards on 252 attempts, an average of 11.7 yards per carry, and 32 touchdowns. After a game, players from the other team asked for his autograph. Following Maurice Clarett's unsuccessful attempt to sue the NFL over its age limit in 2004, there was considerable debate over whether any high school football player might be able to make the leap from the preps to the pro game. The player most frequently mentioned was Peterson.

Peterson followed in his mother's footsteps to excel in track & field at Woodward, where he won several medals in events such as the 100 meters, 200 meters, triple jump, and long jump. Peterson's coach has stated that he believes that, had he not chosen a career in football, Peterson could have become an Olympic sprinter instead. He also posted a wind-assisted time of 10.33 seconds in the 100 meters at the 2003 UIL State Track Meet, where he earned a second-place finish behind Ivory Williams, who won the 2004 World Junior Championship over the same distance. At the 2004 District 14-4A Championships, Peterson ran the second leg on the Palestine 4 × 100 m relay squad, helping lead them to victory with a time of 41.50 seconds. Peterson has stated that his personal-best times are 10.19 seconds in the 100 meters, 21.23 seconds in the 200 meters, and 47.6 seconds in the 400 meters.

Regarded as a five-star recruit by both the and recruiting networks, Peterson was listed as the best running back and overall prospect in the Class of 2004 by After considering schools such as Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Arkansas, and Miami (FL), he decided that he wanted to go to a school where he could be a difference-maker in a national championship run and narrowed his choices down to USC and Oklahoma. Concluding his high school football career at the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he led the West squad with 95 yards on nine carries and scored two touchdowns, and announced at the game that he would attend college at the University of Oklahoma. Following his senior season, he was awarded the Hall Trophy as the U.S. Army National Player of the Year. In addition, he was named the top high school player by College Football News and

Peterson attended the University of Oklahoma, where he played for coach Bob Stoops's Oklahoma Sooners football team from 2004 to 2006. During his freshman season at Oklahoma, Peterson broke several NCAA freshman rushing records, rushing for a conference-leading 1,925 yards and leading the nation in carries with 339. In each of the first nine games of the season, he rushed for more than 100-yards, which is a freshman record. He rushed for 100 yards in the season opener against Bowling Green, 117 yards against Houston, 183 yards against Oregon, 146 yards against Texas Tech, 225 yards against Texas, 130 yards against Kansas State, and 122 yards against Kansas.

Against Oklahoma State on October 30, 2004, Peterson had an 80-yard touchdown run and rushed for 161 yards in the third quarter, finishing with a career-high 249 yards. Despite dislocating his left shoulder in the first half, he managed to run for 101 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, his ninth straight 100-yard game, against Texas A&M. In the next game against Nebraska, he saw little action because of his shoulder injury and finished with 58 yards, which ended his streak of consecutive games with at least 100 yards rushing at nine. In a game against Baylor, Peterson ran for 240 yards, including three second-half touchdowns, and set the NCAA record for most 100-yard games by a freshman with 11 against Colorado. Oklahoma, who were one of the poorest rushing teams the year before, became one of the nation's best.

Despite his record-breaking season, he finished second to USC quarterback Matt Leinart in the Heisman Trophy voting. Among other honors, he was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, and the first Oklahoma freshman recognized as a First-Team Associated Press All-American. Peterson contributed to a perfect regular season for the Oklahoma Sooners and participated in the 2005 BCS National Championship Game with a berth to the 2005 Orange Bowl against USC Trojans. USC retooled their defense to stop Peterson and limited him to just 82 yards, as the Trojans defeated the Sooners by a score of 55–19. USC later vacated the win due to NCAA infractions. After the season, he had surgery on his left shoulder to strengthen the muscles around the joint.

In the 2005 season, Peterson's playing time was limited by a broken foot. He started off the season with 63 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in a 17–10 loss to TCU. In the next game, against Tulsa, he had 220 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns to help the Sooners to the 31–15 victory. He injured his ankle in the first Big 12 Conference game of the season against Kansas State. Despite missing time in four games, he rushed for 1,208 yards and 14 touchdowns on 220 carries, finishing second in rushing yardage in the Big 12. His 2005 season was also notable for a career-long 84-yard touchdown run as part of a 237-yard and two-touchdown performance in a 42–14 victory over Oklahoma State. Oklahoma finished the season with an 8–4 record, the worst season since 1999. They finished third in the Big 12 behind the Texas Longhorns and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Sooners would represent the Big 12 in the Holiday Bowl, where they defeated the #6 Oregon Ducks, 17–14. On July 11, 2007, the NCAA announced the Sooners would have to vacate all victories from the 2005 season, including the bowl game, due to NCAA violations; however, the decision was partially overturned in February 2008, and the NCAA reinstated the Sooners' 8–4 record from the season. Upon the conclusion of the season, he was named a member of the All-Big 12 Conference team.

Peterson started the 2006 season off strong with 139 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and a 69-yard touchdown reception in a 24–17 victory against UAB. He followed that up with 165 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in a 37–20 victory over the Washington Huskies. In the next game, at Oregon, he had 211 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in the Sooners' first loss of the season, a narrow 34–33 decision. In the next game against MTSU, he had 128 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in the 59–0 victory. Peterson's father, Nelson, was released from prison during the 2006 college football season and was able to watch his son as a spectator for the first time on October 14, when Oklahoma played Iowa State. Oklahoma defeated Iowa State in that game; however, on the final drive for the Sooners, Peterson broke his collar bone when he dove into the end zone on a 53-yard touchdown run. During a press conference on October 18, Peterson said he was told by doctors to expect to be out for 4–6 weeks. At the time of the injury, Peterson needed only to gain 150 yards to pass Billy Sims as the University of Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher. He was unable to return for the rest of the Sooners' regular season and missed seven games. The Sooners would turn to Allen Patrick, a junior, and Chris Brown, a freshman, to replace Peterson. The team went on a seven-game winning streak including winning the Big 12 Championship game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He returned for their last game against Boise State in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, where he rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown. He refused to discuss his plans beyond the end of this season with the press. He concluded his college football career with 1,112 rushing yards his final season, even after missing multiple games due to injury for a total of 4,245 rushing yards in only three seasons. He finished 73 yards short of passing Billy Sims as Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher.

On January 15, 2007, Peterson declared that he would forego his senior year of college and enter the 2007 NFL Draft. Coming into the league, he was known as a tall, upright runner possessing a rare combination of speed, strength, agility, size, and vision, along with a highly aggressive running style. His rare talent as both a great breakaway and power runner has often raised comparisons to past legends, including Eric Dickerson, Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, O. J. Simpson, Franco Harris, and Jim Brown. Concerns about his injuries suffered during college were noted by the media and potential NFL teams. He started 22 out of 31 games in his college career and had a dislocated shoulder his first year (although he did not miss any games), a high ankle sprain his sophomore year, and a broken collarbone his final year at Oklahoma. His durability was a consideration for at least two teams in their draft analysis, which impacted selection position. Prior to the 2007 NFL Draft, Peterson was compared by professional football scouts to Eric Dickerson. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. said of Peterson, "You can make the argument, [Peterson] is the best player in this draft, if not, certainly one of the top three."

At the NFL Combine, Peterson measured in at 6'1.5" and 217 pounds; he was clocked between 4.38 and 4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 38.5 inches (0.98m) and performed well in positional drills. He solidified his status as a likely top-10 pick in the draft, arguably revealing more about his mental toughness than any psychological test or team interview could.

On April 28, 2007, Peterson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round with the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Peterson was the first running back selected and the first of three Oklahoma Sooners to be drafted in the 2007 NFL Draft. At a press conference during the draft, Peterson announced, "My collarbone, I would say it's 90% healed. A lot of teams know that, and I don't see it stopping me from being prepared for the season."

Peterson believed he was a player that a franchise could build around. In an interview with IGN following the NFL Draft, he said, "I'm a player who is coming in with the determination to turn a team around. I want to help my team get to the playoffs, win...and run wild. I want to bring people to the stands. I want people to come to the game to see what I can do next. Things like that can change the whole attitude of an organization. I want to win." He later told the Star Tribune in an interview, "I want to be the best player to ever play this game." Nearly three months after being drafted, he was signed by the Vikings on July 29, 2007. His contract was worth $40.5 million over five years, with $17 million guaranteed.

Peterson began his outstanding rookie year with high expectations for himself; he announced ambitious goals including being named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and rushing for 1,341 yards during the course of the year. Just 11 weeks into his rookie season with the Vikings, Peterson was well on his way to Dickerson's record and considered one of the elite running backs in the NFL.

On August 10, 2007, Peterson made his professional debut in a preseason game against the St. Louis Rams. Peterson ran for 33 yards on 11 carries with one catch for two yards. On September 9, 2007, Peterson ran for 103 yards on 19 carries in his first NFL regular season game against the Atlanta Falcons. In addition to his rushing yardage, he scored his first professional football touchdown on a 60-yard pass reception from quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. Over his first three regular season games, his 431 yards (271 rushing & 160 receiving) from scrimmage are a team record. For his performance in the three games, Peterson received the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month award for both September and October 2007.

His breakout game as a professional came on October 14, 2007 against the Chicago Bears, highlighted by a three-touchdown performance and a then-franchise record of 224 rushing yards on 20 carries. Peterson established additional team records for a rookie during this game, which included the most 100-yard games rushing and the longest touchdown run from scrimmage. He also set an NFL rookie record with 361 all-purpose yards in a single game. His 607 rushing yards through the first five games of the season is second in NFL history to Eric Dickerson. For his performance, he was named the Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. Following Peterson's record performance, Deion Sanders, now an NFL Network analyst, said about him: "He has the vision of a Marshall Faulk, the power of an Earl Campbell, and the speed of an Eric Dickerson. Let's pray he has the endurance of an Emmitt Smith." He has also been compared to Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett by Star Tribune sports journalist Jim Souhan.

Three weeks later, on November 4, 2007, Peterson broke his own franchise record as well as the NFL single game rushing yard record (previously held by Jamal Lewis since 2003) when he rushed for 296 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers in a home game in Minneapolis. That game was his second game of over 200 rushing yards, a feat no other rookie has ever accomplished in a season. His historic performance earned him his second Offensive Player of the Week title in his rookie season. In addition to the NFL rushing record in a single game, it took him past 1,000 rushing yards for the year after just eight games. His 1,036 rushing yards represents the best eight-game performance by a rookie in NFL history.

In honor of Peterson's record-breaking performance against the San Diego Chargers, the jersey he wore that day was sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On November 11, 2007, just a week later, Peterson injured the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee in a game against the Green Bay Packers. The injury occurred in the third quarter of a 34–0 defeat at Lambeau Field on a low tackle by Packers cornerback Al Harris. Almost a month after the injury, Peterson returned to action on December 2, 2007 against the Detroit Lions scoring two touchdowns and rushing for 116 yards.

On December 17, 2007, Peterson played in his first Monday Night Football game, where he had 78 rushing yards, 17 receiving yards, and two touchdowns against the Chicago Bears. The next day, he was named as the starting running back for the 2008 NFC Pro Bowl team. On January 2, he was named The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team for the 2007 season.

On February 10, 2008, Peterson won the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl MVP award with 16 carries for 129 rushing yards along with two touchdowns. The 129 rushing yards was the second most in Pro Bowl history. He was the first rookie since Marshall Faulk in 1994 to win the Pro Bowl MVP award. Peterson and Faulk are currently the only NFL players to win both the NFL Pro Bowl MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same year. Peterson finished in second place in rushing yards (1,341) in the 2007 season behind LaDainian Tomlinson, who finished with 1,474 rushing yards.

On March 13, 2019, Peterson signed a two-year, $8 million contract to stay with the Washington Redskins. After being a healthy scratch in Week 1, Peterson was slated to become the starter following a knee injury to starter Derrius Guice. He got the start in Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys. In the 31–21 loss, Peterson rushed for his 107th career touchdown, which passed Jim Brown for fifth on the all-time rushing touchdown list. In Week 6 against the Miami Dolphins, Peterson rushed 23 times for 118 yards in the 17–16 win. In Week 8, Peterson recorded 76 rushing yards on 14 carries in the 19–9 loss to his former team, the Minnesota Vikings. This performance moved Peterson past Jerome Bettis and LaDainian Tomlinson for 6th all-time on the career rushing yards list. The following week, Peterson rushed 18 times for 108 yards in a 24–9 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

On December 15, Peterson ran for 66 yards and a touchdown in the 37–27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, passing Curtis Martin for fifth all-time in rushing yards, as well as becoming the tenth player in NFL history to reach 3,000 career rushing attempts and tied Walter Payton for fourth all-time in rushing touchdowns with 110. Peterson finished the season with 898 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. He was also the recipient of the Art Rooney Award. He was released by the team on September 4, 2020.

On September 6, 2020, Peterson signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Lions. In his first game for the Lions, he rushed 14 times for 93 yards and had three receptions for 21 receiving yards in a 27–23 loss to the Chicago Bears. In Week 12, against the Houston Texans, he had 15 carries for 55 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 41–25 loss. In Week 13 against the Chicago Bears, Peterson rushed for 57 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner late in the fourth quarter, during the 34–30 win. Overall, Peterson appeared in 16 games and started ten games for the Lions in 2020. Throughout the season, he shared the backfield with D'Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson. He finished with 156 carries for 604 receiving yards and seven rushing touchdowns.