Redskins exercise '20 option for RB Adrian Peterson

ASHBURN, Va. -- Over the past two seasons, running back Adrian Peterson remained one of the most durable and productive players for the Washington Redskins, and the team announced Wednesday that it had exercised the option year of his contract for 2020, a move that was widely expected.

Peterson had signed a two-year deal with the team option last offseason. He will receive a $2.25 million base salary with a roster bonus of $109,375. He carries a $3.1 million salary-cap hit.

The Redskins had communicated to Peterson that they planned to pick up the option, according to a source, but didn't have to make it official until no later than 22 days before the start of the league year on March 18.

"Going into this season, there's so much more I can do and how I can help this team," Peterson told ESPN by phone on Wednesday. "My mentality is showing the Adrian Peterson of old and not just flashes; really showing, 'Wow, this cat is on a whole different level.'"

Peterson has played in 31 of 32 games since joining the Redskins; he was a healthy inactive in the 2019 season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite missing that game, and playing for a team that finished 3-13, Peterson still managed to rush for 898 yards and five touchdowns. In 2018, Peterson rushed for 1,042 yards and seven scores.

He said it meant a lot for the organization to show him this level of appreciation. He also understands he brings more than just numbers.

"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.

"That's not natural with a lot of guys and something I've been blessed with. It's all about sharing that and being an example and showing these young guys and vet guys what it takes to be great. Just seeing that mentality from a player of my stature helps out tremendously when you have a young team and you're trying to build that type of culture."

Teammates and coaches raved about Peterson's work ethic and humility in the locker room.

"Adrian Peterson is the epitome of what it means to be a pro in this league," new Redskins coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. "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."

The Redskins also have Derrius Guice, who has suffered three knee injuries in his first two seasons. He has flashed potential for big plays -- averaging 5.83 yards on 42 carries last season -- but has never carried the ball more than 10 times in an NFL game.

Washington also drafted Bryce Love in the fourth round last year; Love was coming off a torn ACL late in his final college season and did not play in 2019. Chris Thompson, the Redskins' third-down back, is a pending free agent.

Peterson ranks fifth in career rushing yards with 14,216 and is fourth in rushing touchdowns with 111. He needs 1,054 yards to surpass Barry Sanders for No. 4 on the all-time list and trails Marcus Allen by 12 rushing touchdowns for the third spot.