The Arizona Cardinals didn’t sign Patrick Peterson to a record $70 million deal with the expectation that he’d slump into mediocrity, of course.
Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim and the rest of the organization expects the opposite — the greatness Peterson has shown the league since he was drafted in 2011.
And one member of the organization in particular, fellow defender Darnell Dockett, expects a high level of that greatness.
When asked about Peterson’s contract extension, which made the 24 year old the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, Dockett didn’t hesitate to lavish some lofty praise on his teammate.
“He’ll definitely be a future Hall of Famer,” Dockett told reporters at Cardinals Camp in Glendale on Wednesday.
He went on to offer his two cents on the loud debate over who, exactly, is football’s best cornerback — Peterson, Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, New England Patriots’ Darrelle Revis or someone else — saying there was “no question” that his teammate was on top.
“I’m not going to say no one else is better than him,” Dockett said of Peterson. “He works his tail off. He’s a dominant corner. He’s smart. He’s one of the most athletic guys in the league. And he plays hard.”
Question after question came Dockett’s way about Peterson, his greatness and the size of his contract, and the quick-to-speak defensive lineman never shied away from the task of heaping votes of confidence upon his teammate. And he made a point of emphasizing Peterson’s work ethic and drive, above all else.
“He’s definitely deserving of everything he has earned,” he said. “He’s one of the young leaders around here.
“He plays lights out. We knew the day would come. He’s one of those guys that’s humble and willing to prove to people that he’s the best corner in the league.”
Then, as if in an effort to put Cardinals fans at ease that Peterson won’t be changed — on or off the field — by his suddenly magnified paychecks, Dockett offered a brief anecdote about the teammate he believes is Hall of Fame-bound.
“He came in the locker room after he signed and you couldn’t even tell that he signed for that much money, because he was like, ‘I’m just ready to go to work.'”