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ESPN: Arizona Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson one of NFL’s most overpaid players

Patrick Peterson had a down season in 2014.

Though he made the Pro Bowl — his fourth overall and third as a cornerback — the former first-round pick struggled with consistency, which we have since learned likely had to do with him suffering from diabetes.

The 24-year-old is confident 2015 will go much better, and for the Cardinals’ sake, hopefully it does.

If not, the mega contract the team handed out to him before last season will look much, much worse. That contract made Peterson one of the highest paid players in the NFL, and according to Nathan Jahnke of ESPN.com, he is also one of the most overpaid players in the game today.

Peterson comes in at No. 6 overall in the ESPN Insider piece.

According to their metrics Peterson, who had a cap hit of $14.8 million last season, played more like a player who was worth $5.6 million.

Peterson was rewarded with a contract extension after an excellent 2013 campaign. The problem is he followed that up with a forgettable 2014 season.

He allowed eight touchdowns, which tied for third most in the NFL behind David Amerson and Bradley Fletcher. In plenty of games he held his own, but he allowed nine catches for 174 receiving yards against the Falcons, and five catches for 122 yards against Washington.

Part of Peterson’s outstanding play in 2013 had to do with the fact that he tracked the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver across the formation (although rarely in the slot), but in 2014 he primarily stayed at left cornerback, regardless of which WR lined up across from him. He is still clearly the Cardinals’ top outside cornerback, and he was playing hurt for much of the season, but Arizona needs to hope he returns to his 2013 form — because the Cardinals are tied to him for a while.

Is Peterson as bad as he played for much of last season? Probably not. He’s been at times one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and it’s not like he suddenly forgot how to play.

However, it will be up to the former number five overall selection to reestablish himself as a shutdown cornerback.

After all, he’s being paid like one.