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Bill Belichick explains why he didn’t sign Adrian Peterson

Patriots Wire logo Patriots Wire 9/13/2017 Henry McKenna

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Bill Belichick got a look at Adrian Peterson over the offseason during a meeting with the then-free agent running back. The New England Patriots coach has expressed his respect for Peterson as a football player, and has had nothing but good things to say about the running back, who seems bound for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

And yet, Peterson and Belichick came away from their meeting without a deal. Peterson went on to sign with the New Orleans Saints, the Patriots' opponent on Sunday.

"In the end, we make decisions that we feel are best for the football team," Belichick told New Orleans media on a conference call Wednesday. "There are a lot of players out there, there's a lot of options, and we visit and work out a lot of players and we go through that process with a lot of draft choices, too. I mean, you can't have everybody on your team. You can only have so many guys."

Robert Kraft's stance on domestic abusers may have impacted Belichick's decision not to sign Peterson. Kraft has said domestic abusers do not belong in the league. While Peterson has never been involved in a legal issue labeled as domestic abuse, Peterson pleaded no contest to child abuse charges after authorities said he beat his son with a switch.

In a bottom-line league like the NFL, the other issue may have been money. Belichick signed two new running backs to his squad, with Rex Burkhead joining the team on a one-year, $3 million deal and Mike Gillislee coming in a two-year, $6.4 million contract. The Patriots also signed running back James White to an extension over the offseason after he set Super Bowl records with 14 receptions and 20 points scored. Peterson, on the other hand, took a one-year, $7 million deal with the Saints this offseason.

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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) breaks a tackled by New York Giants defensive end Romeo Okwara (78) and defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Best of NFL Week 1
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