It’s the Ron Rivera Show now in Washington. The former Carolina Panthers’ boss is consolidating his power as the prime authority on football matters. He proved it by releasing veteran running back Adrian Peterson on Friday.
Peterson becomes the latest big-name holdover from the previous regime jettisoned by Rivera.
Washington has already cut cornerback Josh Norman and traded left tackle Trent Williams to the San Francisco 49ers this offseason. That’s a lot of proven talent he allowed to walk.
Peterson still had some tread left on his tires, but Washington ultimately made the right choice:
AP is a future Hall of Famer, the kind of marquee name Snyder has usually lobbied for in the past. The owner is used to getting his way. Remember Albert Haynesworth?
There were reports Rivera’s predecessor, Jay Gruden, didn’t want the team to draft Dwayne Haskins in 2019. Similar rumors surfaced in 2013 about the decision to trade the farm for Robert Griffin III. Then-head coach Mike Shanahan reportedly preferred Ryan Tannehill.
Snyder has earned a reputation for calling the shots in Washington, regardless of what his coaches have wanted. Rivera, a former linebacker with the Chicago Bears, has enough credibility to command full control.
Washington needs Rivera to be the face of the franchise after an offseason fraught with more than the usual amount of controversy. The team changed its name and logo back in July, a long-overdue decision.
The NFL is also investigating allegations made by former employees of sexual harassment in the workplace. Attorney Lisa Banks, who is representing the ex-employees, has called for Snyder’s removal .
Winning and losing will now depend on Rivera’s guys. There are hopes for Antonio Gibson their third-round pick who will play running back in Washington.
Rivera also signed J.D. McKissic from the Detroit Lions in free agency. Like Gibson, the much-traveled McKissic can line up at receiver or in the backfield. Check out his moves:
Saying goodbye to Adrian Peterson means Rivera has made Gibson the focal point of Washington’s ground game. It’s something Peterson even seemed to see coming:
Fantasy Football experts are already talking up Gibson’s post-Peterson potential:
Gibson can expect plenty of touches in an offense coordinated by Scott Turner. He worked with Rivera in Carolina, where dual-threat running back Christian McCaffrey became a star.
Turner will need to get creative to manufacture points for an offense short on game-changers. Moving Gibson around and finding multiple ways to put the ball in his hands is the best way to do it.
It’s also why there was no longer any room for Adrian Peterson’s familiar style.