Adrian Peterson stood among his peers at NFL Honors in February, turning and waving to acknowledge the cheering crowd.
Up to that point, Peterson had accomplished nearly everything a professional football player could accomplish; he was a seven-time Pro Bowler, four-time first-team All-Pro and the league's most valuable player in 2012. He was a member of the NFL's 2010s All-Decade team and a finalist for the NFL 100 All-Time team.
Whenever Peterson decides to conclude his illustrious career, he'll be a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer.
But on that day in Miami, Peterson accepted an honor that did not have to do with how many yards he rushed for or how many touchdowns he scored.
He became the sixth recipient of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship award, given annually to the player "who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition."
It was Peterson's combination of productivity and personality that made him so beloved in Washington the past two years. He was durable, reliable and consistent -- all while serving as a role model for his younger teammates and a leader in the locker room.
Peterson, who was released Friday, will go down as one of the greatest running backs of all time, yet he displayed the work ethic of an unproven rookie and the humbleness of just another player trying to help his team win. He's handled every situation with integrity and represented the franchise in the best possible way.
To Peterson, life is all about inspiring and uplifting others, and that's been his main objective throughout his 14-year NFL career. He certainly made his presence felt with Washington.