Patrick Peterson ends tenure with Cardinals, will join Vikings
The Arizona Cardinals are turning the page from one of their franchise cornerstones.
The team and cornerback Patrick Peterson have parted ways, as Peterson will sign with the Minnesota Vikings, the cornerback confirmed via Twitter on Thursday.
— Patrick Peterson /P2 (@P2) March 19, 2021
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the move, adding that he will earn $10 million on a one-year deal from Minnesota.
The 30-year-old Peterson entered free agency after recording 28 interceptions and 91 passes defensed over the course of his 10-year career with the Cardinals (154 games). He also added 499 tackles, 10 of which were for losses, 4.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and four QB hits.
Peterson wasn’t his normal self in 2020 despite recording 61 tackles and three interceptions. A closer look paints a different picture.
He posted his worst coverage grade since his rookie year (53.1), according to Pro Football Focus, and led the league in penalties with 12. He also allowed 50 receptions on 75 targets.
Pro Football Focus has Peterson graded out as the 13th-best free agent cornerback this offseason.
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of LSU, Peterson first shined as a dynamic return threat, making the Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro as a kick returner in his rookie season.
Peterson was a Pro Bowler in each of his first eight seasons in the NFL and was First-Team All Pro in 2013 and 2015.
The cornerback started every game for Arizona since entering the league, except in 2019 when he was suspended for the first six games after violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
The suspension was the latest drama surrounding Peterson and the team following the cornerback’s trade request in October under the Steve Wilks regime in 2018.
Peterson would eventually say the trade request was behind him — apologizing to fans at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open after reportedly meeting with the Cardinals front office — but rumors still swirled, especially after the CB didn’t report for the team’s voluntary veteran mini-camp under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury in 2019.
“It’s voluntary,” Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said back in April 2019. “I communicated with Patrick and, you know, we know where he’s at, we know what’s going on. Kind of a conversation to keep between ourselves.”
“I don’t know if it’s disappointing,” Kingsbury added. “If he hadn’t communicated, and we didn’t know what was going on, I think that’d be a different matter.”
Nearly a month later he was suspended.