ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals owner Bidwill on CB Peterson: ‘We want to have him back’

Feb 18, 2021, 9:07 AM | Updated: 9:37 am
Cornerback Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates in the end zone his interceptio...
Cornerback Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates in the end zone his interception of a pass by quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter of the game at State Farm Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said he’s had “a number of conversations” with impending free agent cornerback Patrick Peterson about a return to the team next season.

“I’ve made it very clear we want to have him back,” Bidwill told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Thursday.

Whether those discussions involved possible dollar amounts on Peterson’s next contract isn’t clear.

Bidwill added that the NFL’s expected salary cap drop will force veterans to understand the realities of the franchise’s salary cap restraints and work with the team to make things work.

The NFL told teams in a memo on Thursday that the salary cap floor would be, at minimum, $180 million for 2021. That was a $5 million increase from the minimum the league set months ago, and while it could still rise, it leads to the expectation that the salary cap will drop from last year’s $198 million number.

“We all know that the salary cap is going to go down,” Bidwill said. “So again, I think a lot of these veteran players need work with us, they need to understand that while their salary expectations and compensation expectations might be one thing, we’ve got to look at it with the reality that the salary cap is going down.

“It’s our hope that we can work something out that works for both the club and for Pat to keep him in a Cardinals uniform. He’s been an important part of what we’ve done in the past and hope to keep him in the future like other players.”

Peterson earlier this month disputed a report that he and the team had agreed to part ways this offseason. The cornerback said on his All Things Covered podcast that the two sides hadn’t discussed contract specifics of late.

Peterson, who will be 31 years old next season, will be entering his 11th NFL season coming off a down year by his standards.

The eight-time Pro Bowler was still Arizona’s No. 1 cornerback, posting 61 tackles with three interceptions and three passes defensed this past season. However, his Pro Football Focus coverage grade was the lowest since his rookie season in 2011.

He missed the Pro Bowl for the second year in a row, which could put him in a spot to see a salary decrease from his $12 million in base pay last season.

Spotrac projects Peterson’s market value — based on age, statistics and production — still in the eight-figure range.

The Cardinals, however, lead the NFL in 2020 player snaps up for free agency, and priorities will need to be decided upon amid a salary cap squeeze.

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