Patrick Peterson says the only thing that has changed now that he has agreed to a contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals is the number.
“I’m getting a lot of money this year — well, throughout the five-year extension, but I feel normal,” he told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “I guess it hasn’t been, I haven’t had my reality check just yet.”
The deal, which will keep Peterson in Arizona through 2020, is worth $70 million, with $48 million guaranteed.
Those were the numbers Peterson announced on his Twitter page Tuesday night, and those are the numbers that had the sports world buzzing.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection who is in the conversation as the best cornerback in the NFL, Peterson has intercepted 12 passes in three seasons since being taken fifth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. He’s the first of that class’ first-round picks to agree to a contract extension, and clearly one of the faces of the Cardinals franchise.
That’s part of the reason why Peterson, while waiting for this deal to get done, had no intention of holding out or making this a big deal off the field.
“I am a leader, I am a captain of this Arizona Cardinals football team,” he said. “I want to be recognized not only as a businessman — obviously I am a businessman and it is all about getting the money when you can — but I want to win, I want to win championships. I haven’t been to the playoffs since I’ve been here, we haven’t, as an organization, we haven’t been to the playoffs in the last five years.
“So those are the goals that I’m setting not only for myself, but for my team. So I don’t want to be the distraction for my team when we have something going great here, I don’t want to be holding out or be unhappy because I didn’t get paid.”
Also, as Peterson mentioned, he still had two years left on his rookie contract, so at the end of the day he was going to be playing no matter what.
But no doubt he’s pleased to be the latest defensive back to earn a big payday, after this offseason saw elite players like Richard Sherman, Joe Haden, Darrelle Revis and Aqib Talib earn new deals either with their teams or as free agents.
Peterson said his agents had been working on this deal since February, and he always felt it was a matter of when, not if, something would be agreed upon. He admitted it wasn’t an easy process and everything had to be fine-tuned before he would sign on the dotted line, but he was never in a rush to get it done.
“I believe we got everything down to the T, and I’m pretty happy, pretty happy about the outcome,” he said.