Rosenthal: Patrick Peterson, Haason Reddick could be ‘overpriced’ FAs
With the start of the new league year on March 17 comes the beginning of NFL free agency.
Due to the salary cap having not yet been decided for the 2021 season, teams around the league are also cutting players in order to create financial flexibility.
And while one man’s trash is another man’s treasure is the old saying, NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal says there are almost a dozen players that buyers should beware of from a pricetag standpoint.
Two of those players in his his list of 11 potentially overpriced players are Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson and linebacker Haason Reddick.
Pat Pete will be an interesting Hall of Fame discussion some day. He could make it a lot more interesting with a second act à la Richard Sherman in his early 30s. The game film of the last two years, with Peterson often struggling in matchups he used to dominate, indicates he will need to find the right scheme to maximize his skills.
Peterson has played in 26 of the Cardinals’ 32 games over the last two seasons. He missed the first six of 2019 after being suspended for PEDs. In that span, he has amassed one forced fumble, three tackles for loss, five interceptions and 15 passes defensed.
But if you compare his last two full 16-game seasons (2018 and 2020), you’ll see a drop off in the cornerbacks’ numbers.
In 2018 — Peterson’s last Pro-Bowl season — he allowed 35 receptions on 60 targets (58.3%) for 417 yards and four touchdowns to go along with two interceptions and five passes defensed. Now compare that to last season in which opposing quarterbacks were 53-of-79 (67.1%) for 662 yards, five scores and three picks when throwing his way.
Another significant difference is the number of air yards on targets between the two years, as the 261 in 2018 ballooned to 451 last year.
When it comes to Reddick, however, Rosenthal’s emphasis turns more to the “What have you done for me lately?” mantra after Reddick posted the best season of his four-year career.
Reddick broke out in 2020, but that’s one reason he’s on this list. His three previous years in the desert were disappointing, with the Cardinals not picking up his fifth-year option entering 2020 as a result.
It’s possible that the team finally unlocked his potential by using him correctly, even if his struggles against the run continued. It’s also possible that some other team will lean too hard on a pre-draft evaluation that made Reddick the No. 13 overall pick and not enough on the Cardinals’ eagerness to move on from him in favor of J.J. Watt.
Reddick’s breakout 2020 came as a result of a position change within defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s scheme.
After moving to outside linebacker, the former Temple Owl posted 12.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and 16 QB hits — all career highs. He also added four passes defensed and 63 tackles (43 solo) last season.