For two weeks last season, running back Adrian Peterson looked like the Cardinals savior.

On Tuesday, he became unemployed.

The Cardinals released Peterson on Tuesday, freeing about $2.9 million of cap space. It’s possible Peterson could eventually re-sign for considerably less money, but he would also have to be content as the backup to David Johnson.

The team also announced it had extended a qualifying offer to defensive tackle Xavier Williams, a restricted free agent.

Terms were not announced but it’s likely the lowest tender, $1.9 million.

The Cardinals traded a sixth-round pick to the Saints for Peterson last October, a month after Johnson suffered a dislocated wrist.

Peterson made an immediate impression, rushing for 134 yards and scoring two touchdowns against the Buccaneers in his Cardinals’ debut. Two weeks later, he rushed for 159 yards against the 49ers.

But Peterson was stuffed in his other four games with the team, gaining just 155 yards on 56 carries. He suffered a neck injury against Jacksonville in late November and missed the final five games of the season.

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