Patrick Peterson, Cardinals Nearing Extension

4:29pm: Significant roadblocks still must be overcome before Peterson and the Cardinals strike a deal, but the two sides have made progress, a source tells Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link).

3:42pm: The Cardinals and Patrick Peterson are close to reaching an agreement on a new long-term contract for the cornerback, sources tell Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Getlin adds (via Twitter) that there are still hurdles to clear before anything is official, but there’s a good chance the two sides will work something out soon.

Peterson, who turned 24 earlier this month, hasn’t missed a game during his three years with the Cardinals so far, earning Pro Bowl nods in all three seasons, as well as a spot on the NFL’s All-Pro squad twice. The former fifth overall pick has exhibited a knack for big plays since entering the league in 2011, returning four punts for touchdowns in his rookie season and producing 21 career turnovers on defense (12 interceptions, nine fumble recoveries).

If Peterson were to finalize a multiyear pact with Arizona, it would make him the first 2011 first-round pick to ink a contract extension, two years away reaching free agency. The Cardinals exercised their fifth-year option for 2015 on the standout cornerback earlier this offseason, ensuring that he’s already locked up for a salary of $10.081MM in ’15. Those fifth-year options have reduced the leverage of 2011 first-rounders in contract talks, but as we heard earlier today from Peterson and GM Steve Keim, it hasn’t stopped either side from actively pursuing a new deal ahead of the 2014 season.

Fellow star cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Joe Haden secured new contracts of their own this year, and as I wrote when I examined Peterson as an extension candidate in May, the LSU product will likely push to exceed the $14MM annual salary Sherman got on his four-year extension and the $22MM in fully guaranteed money that Haden received on his five new years.

Considering he’s still two years away from free agency and doesn’t have quite the same track record of elite play as Sherman and Haden, per Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required), Peterson may be hard-pressed to top either player’s deal, but he has youth on his side, as well as his big-play ability. Any deal he signs should place him among the NFL’s highest-paid cornerbacks, albeit perhaps not at the very top of that list.

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