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Keeping Adrian Peterson was a slam dunk for Ron Rivera, Redskins

Keeping Adrian Peterson was a slam dunk for Ron Rivera, Redskins

Ron Rivera faces some tough decisions as the new boss of the Washington Redskins, but keeping Adrian Peterson around for the 2020 season was not one of them. 

“Adrian Peterson is the epitome of what it means to be a pro in this league,” Rivera said in a statement on Wednesday. “Adrian’s leadership and passion towards the game of football will set an example of what is expected of the players in this program moving forward.”

Washington exercised a team option in Peterson's contract on Wednesday which kept him a Redskin for the 2020 season, and more importantly, at a very reasonable price tag. 

Peterson will make $3 million this year, $10 million less than Le'Veon Bell and $4 million less than Jerick McKinnon. 

In the past two seasons, Peterson has run for nearly 2,000 yards and averaged 4.25 yards-per-carry. Bell sat out the 2018 season, and in 2019 averaged 3.2 yards-per-carry en route to a 789 yard season. in the last two seasons, McKinnon hasn't played a snap as a 49er but still collected nearly $12 million.  

Beyond just the economic value of Peterson's on-field production, there is an immeasurable value to his off-field presence. 

He will turn 35 in March but without exaggeration could still be the most physically gifted player in the Redskins locker room. His work ethic is nearly unmatched. The guy runs full 100-yard sprints at the end of practice. 

Peterson is a future Hall of Famer that is not just enjoying one last ride late in his career. He's grinding out tough yards in tough situations on largely bad teams. 

In 2018, he was absolutely the best offensive player on the Redskins roster. In 2019, rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin took that title, but Peterson was still good. 

Remarkably, Peterson could actually be better in 2020. Ask him, and he should be better. 

"I think it's different with guys of my stature," Peterson told ESPN. "When [teammates] see a 35-year-old running back at camp going 100 miles an hour with each rep, every rep, competing at the highest level and working to get yourself and teammates better, it's inspiring."

Peterson will likely continue his assault on the NFL all-time record books this fall too. He currently ranks in the Top 10 in nearly every rushing statistic, with names like Barry Sanders and Marcus Allen ahead of him on the all-time rushing yards and rushing touchdown list.  

There was never a question the Redskins would use their team option to keep Peterson for the 2020 season. 

They'd be crazy not to. 

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Report: President Trump told pro sports commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

Report: President Trump told pro sports commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

During a conference call with 13 professional sports commissioners Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he believes the 2020 NFL season should start as scheduled in September despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski.

Trump also reportedly remarked that he would like to allow fans back into stadiums and arenas by August or September.

The president used the call as an opportunity to commend the commissioners for their response to the pandemic. On March 11, the NBA became the first American professional sports league to suspend play in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The NHL, which was less than a month out from the start of the playoffs, followed suit—as eventually did the MLS, ATP, WTA, PGA Tour, NASCAR and MLB spring training.

With the NFL still in the midst of its offseason, there remains hope that the 2020 season will begin on time. So far, the league has canceled its annual league meaning and delayed OTAs. The draft will be held as expected while teams make their selections remotely rather than in Las Vegas as originally planned. While many free-agent deals have yet to be finalized due to the inability for teams to conduct physicals, the NFL has yet to be affected as much as other major sports.

The season is set to begin Thursday, Sept. 10 with opening Sunday coming Sept. 13.

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President Trump meets with league commissioners, commends their response to the coronavirus

President Trump meets with league commissioners, commends their response to the coronavirus

The White House says President Donald Trump spoke with commissioners of the country's sports leagues on Saturday and told them he recognizes "the good work being done by many teams and players" to care for their communities and fans dealing with the new coronavirus.

After the conference call that included the president, two of his advisers and 13 sports commissioners ended, ESPN reported that Trump "believes the NFL season should start on time in September."

The virus has decimated the sports world with the NBA and NHL suspending their seasons indefinitely and MLB postponing the start of its season.

The NCAA basketball tournament was also canceled, as were college spring sports such as baseball and softball, lacrosse and track and field. No representatives of the NCAA were reported to be in the call.

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The White House says the commissioners thanked Trump for his "national leadership and for his interest in the sports industry." He called on them to continue efforts to support their fellow Americans during the current challenge.

A wide range of sports league officials participated in the call, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

NBC Sports Washington's Matt Weyrich contributed to this report.

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