It wasn’t the best week for Patrick Peterson. After being slapped with a six-game ban from the NFL, reports emerged that the cornerback wanted to restructure his contract in an attempt the lessen the financial blow from the suspension (the Cardinals ultimately said no). Predictably, the veteran came out and apologized for his actions.
“Definitely, definitely sorry for what happened today,” Peterson told ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss on Thursday (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). “For the most part, I think you guys understand my character and also understand my commitment on and off the field and also to my teammates and also the Arizona Cardinals organization. That’s why this is obviously very, very hard for me, because I’ve never been in this situation before and never wanted to have my name attached to anything like this. But I’m looking to move forward, put this behind me.
“I want to thank my family, my teammates, the coaching staff, the Arizona Cardinals’ community and also the organization. I’m looking forward to getting back Week Seven. I’m going to try to keep the smile on my face and getting back to being the best DB in the league.”
The suspension, a result of a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, will ultimately cost $3.88MM and impact Peterson’s remaining guarantees. The cornerback believed he could save at least $2MM by adjusting his deal, but the Cardinals had no real incentive to oblige. As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com points out, the front office will save that $3.88MM in both cap space and cap. Furthermore, his 2019 salary is no longer guaranteed; if the organization wants to move on from the cornerback following his suspension, they can easily do so.
It’s been a tumultuous year for Peterson. The 28-year-old requested a trade back in October, but he proceeded to start all 16 games for the league-worst Cardinals. After recommitting himself to the organization, reports emerged last month that the player was not pleased with his team.
Despite all the turmoil, Peterson continued to perform. He finished last season with 54 tackles, five passes defended and two interceptions. Pro Football Focus ranked Peterson fifth among 112 eligible cornerback candidates. Peterson is signed through the 2020 campaign thanks to the five-year, $70MM+ extension he inked with the club back in 2014.
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