Patrick Peterson is no longer on ‘most overpaid players’ list
About this time last season, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson was not exactly viewed in the most favorable of lights.
Such is life when you sign a monster contract extension only to produce one of the worst campaigns of your career.
Peterson had such a down year, in fact, that he landed in the sixth spot on ESPN’s list of the most overpaid players in the NFL.
That was then, however, and this is now.
ESPN came out with the 2016 version of the same list, and you know what? Peterson’s name is nowhere to be found, and with good reason.
Peterson took his game to an entirely new level in 2015, as he emerged as a true shut-down cornerback in an age where there are precious few of them. According to ProFootballFocus, he averaged 19.5 coverage snaps per reception allowed last season while ranking as the NFL’s 32nd-best player.
And over at USA Today, writer Steven Ruiz broke down the top 10 CBs in the NFL and put Peterson No. 1, noting part of what made the player’s year so special was that his technique finally caught up to his athletic talents.
Peterson’s footwork has been refined, which allows him to stick with receivers with elite change of direction ability.
Last season, Peterson was named first-team All-Pro for the third time (second as a CB) while making his fifth straight Pro Bowl. He intercepted two passes and had 10 passes defensed as quarterbacks tended to look away from his side of the field.
Peterson will no doubt look to have a similar success in 2016, though his season is getting off to a bit of a late start due to offseason ankle surgery. He was back on the field for mini-camp, though, and is feeling good about his prospects for training camp and this season.
And though being on the sidelines for much of the offseason is not what he wanted, Peterson said he benefited from watching as much as he did.
“It gave me a different perspective on the position because I’m always the guy on the field taking coaching from Coach (Kevin) Ross and Coach (Nick) Rapone and intern Rod Hood, and now for me to be spitting out information and giving these guys input, it definitely helped me,” he said. “And I believe it’s going to help me be in a better position, especially in my off-coverage, this year, being on the sideline looking at and seeing how receivers break, seeing what their breaking points are, seeing the different splits and things like that. I definitely think it helped me tremendously.”