"It's disrespectful to be honest with you. It really is."
Adrian Peterson says he's fed up with the way NFL owners and GMs refuse to pay running backs their value ... and now, he's telling TMZ Sports he hopes the game's youngsters can change things around.
Peterson famously hasn't had too many issues with contracts over his career ... he's made over $100 MIL in 13 seasons.
But, he's seen other tailbacks get the shaft when it comes time for new contracts ... and he tells us he's tired of seeing it.
"I think the change is going to come," Peterson says. "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, you know?'"
Of course, there are still plenty of running backs waiting for the tide to turn ... Zeke Elliott famously had to hold out of training camp to get his big contract, while Dalvin Cook is now threatening to do the same.
Derrick Henry, meanwhile, is being forced to play on the franchise tag ... while Alvin Kamarahas yet to receive an extension despite playing on a very Saints-friendly deal his first 3 years in the league.
Peterson says he's hopeful all of that will change soon ... adding, "These young core of backs are really changing the game for the better."
"I feel like you're going to continue to get guys like that, that's going to help raise the value of the running back position."