Two teams looked at some veteran free agents in the week leading up to the season opener:
With top run-stopper Folorunso Fatukasi being limited in practice all week going into the first game of the season, the Jaguars decided to audition another defensive tackle in veteranCorey Peters on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Peters has spent all of his 11-year career with two teams after being drafted by the Falcons and spending the past six seasons with the Cardinals. When healthy, he’s been a strong starter and a reliable contributor for both squads. Unfortunately for Peters, Fatukasi ended up being just well enough to play against the Commanders in Jacksonville’s season opener, so Peters’ talents were not necessary.
Corey Peters remains unsigned, and it sounds like a return to Arizona is still in the cards. Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus writes that while Peters is “biding his time in free agency before he decides on his next destination,” the Cardinals remain an option.
After spending the first five seasons of his career in Atlanta, Peters joined the Cardinals in 2015. Besides missing his first season in Arizona thanks to a torn Achilles, the defensive tackle has otherwise been a mainstay on the team’s defensive line. He’s seen time in 81 games (77 starts) for Arizona, collecting 170 tackles, eight sacks, 29 tackles for loss, and 19 QB hits.
A knee injury ended his 2020 season prematurely, but after re-signing with the Cardinals last offseaosn, the veteran managed to get into 14 games (11 starts). He finished the campaign with 24 tackles and zero sacks, with Pro Football Focus ranking him as a middle-of-the-road interior defensive lineman (59th among 109 eligible candidates).
The 2022 campaign will be Peters’ age-34 season, but he still proved that he can be a serviceable defensive lineman last year. Pro Football Focus ranked him as one of the league’s better pass-rushing defensive lineman, so he could make sense as a third-down piece for most squads. Peters is likely waiting out any training camp or preseason injuries before settling on his next gig.
August 2nd, 2021 at 3:50pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
It looks like Corey Peters is headed back to the desert after all. The veteran defensive tackle is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Cardinals, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Howard Balzer was first to tweet that a deal was likely.
We had heard in early June that the two sides were still discussing a new contract, but nothing materialized at the time. Now a little ways into training camp, it finally happened. A third-round pick of the Falcons back in 2010, Peters has been with the Cardinals since 2015. A knee injury limited him to only nine games last year, but he started all 16 for Arizona the year before.
Although mostly a run-stuffer up the middle, he’s had at least a couple of sacks each of the last three seasons. Now on the tail-end of a solid career, Peters turned 33 back in June. In addition to his work in the defensive front, Peters is also a locker room leader.
“He was tremendous for us on and off the field, one of the great leaders in our locker room,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury had said a couple of months ago. Coming off a torn patella tendon at his relatively advanced age, it’s unclear if he’ll play as big of a role on the field in 2021.
“We’ve talked, but my options are open,” the 32-year-old said. “I’m looking forward to whatever opportunity presents itself . . . I put roots down here, my home is here, so I would love to stay. And then also my community work; I really have a special connection to the south Phoenix community. I’d love to be here, but I understand the business part of it and it is what it is. And at the end of the day, we will do what’s best for us. Just as I expect the teams to do what’s best for them.”
Following a five-year stint with the Falcons to begin his career, Peters has been with the Cardinals organization since 2015. While he sat out his first season in Arizona, he’s otherwise had a consistent role on their defense, collecting eight sacks and 26 tackles for loss in 67 games. Unfortunately, Peters’ 2020 season was cut short after he suffered a season-ending knee injury, and teams are presumably taking a cautious approach as they see how the defensive lineman recovers.
For what it’s worth, Cardinals head coach KliffKingsbury also made it sound like he’d welcome re-signing Peters.
“We’re always looking to add talent; we know what Corey’s about,” said Kingsbury. “He was tremendous for us on and off the field, one of the great leaders in our locker room, so we’ll see how that plays out.
“And we’re excited about some of the young talent we have there as well. I thought Rashard (Lawrence) did a nice job last year stepping in. Leki (Fotu) really came a long way. And so we feel like we have some good pieces.”
Cardinals NT Corey Peters is out for the season due to a torn patellar tendon, and as he is in the final year of his contract with Arizona, it’s possible he has already played his last game with the team. But if he has it his way, that won’t be the case.
The 32-year-old said that he would love to spend the rest of his career with the Cardinals, as Mason Kern of SI.com writes, and assuming the price is right, it would make sense for GM Steve Keim to keep him. Peters was named Arizona’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award yesterday, and he has been a team captain for three years running. In addition to his stout defense against the run, he is a highly-respected spiritual and emotional leader, so look for the two sides to discuss a reunion this offseason.
Now for more from the NFC West:
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgeraldsays he feels much better after testing positive for COVID-19 late last month, though he has yet to regain his senses of taste and smell (Twitter link via Kimberley A. Martin of ESPN.com). Fitz also says he lost nine pounds during his bout with the coronavirus, but he did come off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday, and as Darren Urban of the team’s official website tweets, the 37-year-old will suit up against the Giants this weekend.
After sinking 88.6% of his field goal tries in 2019, Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalezhas converted just 72.7% of his attempts this year, prompting some to wonder if the team will seek another option. But Keim will keep rolling with Gonzalez, saying, “I know people question Zane but Zane has a lot of talent. … I think Zane will work through the tough times” (Twitter link via Urban). Gonzalez is playing out the season on his RFA tender, and this is not how he wanted to enter his first offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
The Rams suddenly find themselves atop the NFC West, and they could be getting their left tackle back soon. Andrew Whitworthhas been on the shelf since the middle of November with a torn MCL and PCL, but Jay Glazer of FOX Sports says (via Twitter) that the veteran OT, who turns 39 tomorrow, will test out the knee next week. Whitworth is apparently way ahead of schedule and could return by the end of the regular season.
Jimmy Garoppolo‘s future with the 49ers is in some doubt, even though HC Kyle Shanahan recently said he expects the dashing signal-caller to be the team’s starter in 2021. That may well be the case, but Matt Barrows of The Athletic believes San Francisco will select a QB in next year’s draft, perhaps as high as the second round. There could be a few intriguing prospects available at that point that Shanahan may be able to turn into a viable starter at the professional level. Players like Florida’s Kyle Trask or Alabama’s Mac Jones could both be options.
It has now been over a year since Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny last suited up for a game, but as John Boyle of the team’s official website notes, Penny returned to practice this week. Head coach Pete Carroll says he’s excited about what he has seen from Penny in practice (Twitter link via 710 ESPN Seattle), and the ‘Hawks could certainly use a boost to an RB corps that has dealt with a number of injuries this season. Per Boyle, CB Quinton Dunbar, who has been on IR for a few weeks with a knee injury, has also returned to practice.
The Seahawks signed QB Alex McGoughto their practice squad yesterday, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, the team has put its other PS signal-caller, Danny Etling, in a bubble. The Broncos, of course, recently had to play a game with a practice squad wide receiver at QB because the rest of their quarterbacks were deemed high-risk close contacts of Jeff Driskel, who had tested positive. The Seahawks are keeping Etling in a bubble to guard against just such a situation.
More trouble for Arizona’s defensive line. The Cardinals placed big-ticket free agency addition Jordan Phillips on IR on Thursday. He will join Corey Peters as D-linemen on the Cards’ injured list.
Phillips is battling a hamstring injury that caused him to miss Week 9. He will be out until Week 14 because of Thursday’s transaction, and the Cards are certainly set to be thin on their defensive front against the Seahawks. Peters is out for the season.
The Cards promoted defensive lineman Michael Dogbe from their practice squad but are still down Peters, Phillips and Zach Allen up front. Five Cards D-linemen in total are on IR. Considering Chandler Jones is also out, the Cardinals are down most of the players they intended to have rush quarterbacks at the season’s outset. They have turned to former off-ball linebacker Haason Reddick as an edge player as a result, and the team reacquired Markus Golden from the Giants to help out.
Phillips signed a three-year, $30MM deal to come over from Buffalo in March. He has not quite flashed his contract-year form, registering two sacks and three QB hits this season. In 2019, Phillips posted a Bills-best 9.5 sacks and 16 QB hits.
The Cardinals also promoted D.J. Foster. The veteran running back has seen action as a practice squad promotion a few times this season. Tight end Evan Baylis and linebacker Reggie Walker will rise to the active roster as well.
November 18th, 2020 at 9:00am CST by Zachary Links
Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters will miss the rest of the year, per a club announcement. Peters has started nearly every game for the Cardinals over the past five years. Now, he’ll focus on 2021 as he rehabs from a torn patellar tendon.
Recuperating from a knee injury is never easy, but it might be especially challenging for Peters at the age of 32. Also, on a personal level, the timing is less than ideal. The veteran is in the final season of his three-year, $12MM deal with the Cardinals and he won’t be negotiating from a position of strength as he seeks his next contract.
Peters, who will turn 33 over the summer, has started 121 games over the course of his ten-year career. The first half of his NFL journey was spent with the Falcons where he enjoyed some solid seasons, including a 2013 season in which he notched five sacks from the interior. A team captain, Peters has been a rock against the run for Arizona ever since joining the team in 2016.
The Cardinals — sans Peters — will take on the Seahawks in Seattle this week.