Adrian Peterson believes running backs are treated unfairly when it comes time for them to sign new contracts.
"It's disrespectful, to be honest with you. It really is," Peterson told TMZ Sports.
However, the Washington Redskins running back is optimistic the landscape will change.
"I think the change is going to come," Peterson said. "Me and Frank Gore continue to show guys, 'Hey, we are valuable. We can have 10-, 14-year careers as well, so value us as well like you would value a quarterback.'"
Peterson amassed 898 rushing yards - 4.3 yards per carry - and five touchdowns in his 13th NFL season last year. The future Hall of Famer, who inked a two-year pact worth $5 million last season, has totaled 2,290 yards and 13 touchdowns since he arrived in Washington in 2018.
The 35-year-old mentioned Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey as one of the players responsible for adding new value to the position. In 2019, McCaffrey became only the third player in NFL history to top 1,000 rushing and receiving yards during the same campaign.
"These young core of backs are really changing the game for the better," Peterson said.
The Panthers rewarded McCaffrey with an extension worth $16 million per season through 2025, the highest-ever annual average at the position. Comparatively, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is the highest-paid player in the NFL with an average salary of $35 million per year.
Several star running backs are currently set to become free agents after the 2020 season, including Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon, and Aaron Jones. Cook reportedly intends to hold out this season until he and the Minnesota Vikings reach an extension.