One of the top defenders in Cardinals history may be on the move next month. The Cardinals bringing Patrick Peterson back on a third contract stands as an unlikely scenario, according to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com.
The former top-five pick was linked to trades in 2018 and ’19 and a possible Cardinals extension last year, but he remained with the Cardinals on a contract he signed way back in 2014. Peterson played out that deal last year and is one month from unrestricted free agency for the first time.
However, Peterson has seen his play slip a bit over the past two seasons. The All-Decade performer made eight Pro Bowls to start his career but was slapped with a six-game PED suspension to start the 2019 season. After Pro Football Focus graded Peterson fifth among corners in 2018, he slipped to 41st in ’19 and 83rd in ’20. Quarterbacks throwing in Peterson’s direction last season collectively completed passes at a 67% clip — nearly 10 points higher than they did in 2018.
The Cards’ extension talks with Peterson stalled in May of last year and did not regain steam ahead of his age-30 season. Peterson, who will turn 31 in June, said last week no final decision has been made between he and the Cardinals about a separation. Were Peterson to leave, the Cardinals would need immediate help at corner. They also have Dre Kirkpatrick bound for free agency and have seen 2019 acquisition Robert Alford miss two full seasons. Byron Murphy‘s rookie deal runs through 2022, but Arizona may need multiple new cogs to join him soon.
Peterson hitting the market would mean two members of the 2010s All-Decade corner contingent would be free agents, with fellow 2011 draftee Richard Sherman on track for free agency.
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