P2 ‘at peace’ with contract, confident in Cardinals’ CB depth

Sep 10, 2020, 2:50 PM
Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson (21) runs past Jordan Phillips (97) as they go through drills d...

Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson (21) runs past Jordan Phillips (97) as they go through drills during an NFL football workout Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Patrick Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals haven’t recently discussed a contract extension as he enters the final year of his deal. The 10th-year pro believes his play in 2020 will sort things out.

“I’m at peace, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m under contract through the end of the season,” he said. “All I can do right now is play ball. I feel like the ball is in my court. All I have to do is go out there and play P2 football.”

Coming off a season that began with a six-game suspension due to a positive PED test, Peterson has been determined to find his form that led to eight Pro Bowl selections.

In February, Arizona general manager Steve Keim told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf that he and owner Michael Bidwill have often discussed the hope that Peterson would retire a Cardinal. Keim added the two sides had been in conversation about an extension.

“He’s under contract, and I think when you look at the body of work last year, he’d be one of the first to tell you he didn’t play up to expectations early on,” Keim said.

“The last three games I thought he played excellent, played like we expected him to play. He’s got a chip on his shoulder. I think he’ll come back with a vengeance.”

The Cardinals have been busy negotiating other deals. They made Budda Baker the highest-paid NFL safety at the end of August and reworked left tackle D.J. Humphries’ deal to open up cap space before agreeing to an extension with receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Tuesday.

“I can’t worry about anybody else’s pockets,” Peterson said. “Budda and DeAndre definitely got what they deserved. And it was their time. It’s all about timing. I’ve been in contract negotiations before, it’s not my first go-round. I’m lucky and blessed enough to be in my third go-round … With me, all I have to worry about is P2.

“That’s my entity, that’s my company. At the end of the day, all I can do is worry about me. When the time match up perfectly, we can sit down and talk about something.”

What to expect out of the No. 2 CB

The Cardinals could be filling the second starting cornerback spot Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers with a committee.

Dre Kirkpatrick signed on Aug. 23 after Arizona lost Robert Alford to his second season-ending injury in a row, and the former Cincinnati Bengal is expected to play against the Niners. He could split reps with nickel Byron Murphy, who earned snaps at both spots as a rookie last year.

The Cardinals feel Kirkpatrick will play a huge role for them as the year progresses.

“He’s been a great addition for us since he’s got here. He got great range, he can run, he’s long. I believe he definitely made our defense a lot better,” Peterson said.

Kirkpatrick knows the style of defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s system from their time together with the Bengals (2014-15), when Joseph was his defensive backs coach. Peterson said the terminology is the biggest difference in learning Arizona’s calls.

There’s also a matter of getting into football shape.

“That’s a guess, how much he can play at full speed,” Joseph said. “We have a plan for multiple guys to play at that position so hopefully he can get most of the snaps. But he is a vet. He knows his body.

“He’s been great for us, he’s a veteran presence. He’s helping our young DBs with the football IQ part of the game.”

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