Ahead of the first free agency of his All-Pro career, Arizona Cardinals star cornerback Patrick Peterson once again addressed comments about his future as rumours of his departure from the Cardinals continue to swirl.
Patrick Peterson Looks Ahead to Free Agency
Last week, on his podcast All Things Covered, Patrick Peterson was forced to dispel a ‘dirty rumor’ after reports that he would part ways with the Arizona Cardinals surfaced in the media. On the latest installment of the weekly show, Peterson entertained a barrage of headlines from fellow host, cousin and former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden, suggesting which teams around the league will be vying for his signature come summer. Various stories indicated that “twenty plus” NFL teams, including the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, considered Peterson a prime target.
As for Peterson himself, the veteran remained coy throughout the segment. Poker face firmly affixed, Peterson calmly fielded his array of potential admirers. With free agency not due to begin for another month, P2 was only able to confirm that he was excited to be a free agent for the first time and would 100% be playing for somebody next year. After eleven years in the league, he still has ‘plenty left in the tank’. He has previously stated that he would like to play in the NFL for at least another five or six years.
Peterson did however repeatedly suggest that a key factor in his free agency decision is the feeling of being wanted. Likening the sensation to the draft process, the former LSU star noted that only ‘journeymen’ regularly get to experience being courted by various teams.
Is Peterson Wanted in Arizona?
Since he entered the league in 2011, Patrick Peterson has spent his entire career with the Arizona Cardinals, never before entering free agency. Although recently named to the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team, Peterson’s tag of a lockdown corner has faded in recent seasons. This purported decline follows a six-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances in 2019.
The Cardinals currently have only two cornerbacks on their roster: Byron Murphy and Robert Alford. Murphy primarily plays in the slot, and struggled outside in his rookie year. Coupled with Alford’s injury history, having missed the past two years, Arizona is without two starters heading into the offseason. Dre Kirkpatrick, Johnathan Joseph and Kevin Peterson will also hit free agency this year. Filling out the group has to be a priority.
Various members within the Cardinals media have discussed the impending saga. Peterson’s future is a divisive topic amongst Cardinals fans and media alike. However, there is certainly a sentiment that retaining Peterson is in the Cardinals’ best interests. Allowing Peterson to test his worth on the open market is simply part of the process.
Regardless, the Cardinals will still need to address the lack of depth at the position in the offseason. Utilizing both the draft and free agency will be key. Several mock drafts have suggested Steve Keim will invest the team’s top pick, 16th overall, in the position. With Peterson approaching 31 this year, looking ahead is operant for Arizona.
However, there is no reason Peterson shouldn’t still be a part of the Cardinals’ outlook. Peterson himself is confident of his value. That could be as a ‘missing piece’ or as a guy ‘who can help young guys come along’. Peterson’s tutelage will be key in developing in a new star and spiritual successor in the desert.
The Future of Patrick Peterson
With less than a month to go before free agency opens, Patrick Peterson is at peace with his current situation. Reports continue to flood in, each baselessly speculating on his future. What is definitely clear is that Peterson is an in-demand player on the market in 2021. As for the player, Peterson maintains that he has ‘done all he can to… earn the right to play’. Whether that’s in Arizona, or with one of many countless suitors around the league, remains to be seen. The wait for March 17th continues.
Patrick Peterson: ‘There’s Nothing Like Feeling Wanted’