Patrick Peterson: Cardinals GM Steve Keim Showed Me 'Ultimate Disrespect' During Exit

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2021

EAGAN, MN - AUGUST 04: Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) makes a catch during training camp at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan, MN on August 4, 2021.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Patrick Peterson signed a one-year deal worth $8 million with the Minnesota Vikings this offseason, though not before the Arizona Cardinals reportedly ghosted him. 

Peterson told The Athletic's Dan Pompei that the Cardinals repeatedly told him they wanted him back, and that general manager Steve Keim told him "we're going to do everything to get you back." 

But once free agency began, Peterson said all he got from the organization was radio silence.

"I was just frustrated and upset at how upper management handled the situation," he said. "You tell me one thing, then when it's time to talk, you turn your shoulder on me like it's cold shoulder. I've been in this league a long time. Thirty years old. Grown man. Talk to me like a grown man, not like a child or your side piece."

Peterson said he finally heard from Keim after he agreed to the deal with the Vikings.

"He had the nerve to text me, talking about how I love you, wish you nothing but the best," he said. "Now your phone work all of a sudden. I found that as the ultimate disrespect right there."

The good news for the Vikings, through all of this, is that they'll be getting a very, very motivated Peterson. 

"I have a chip on my shoulder. A big one. A very big one," he said. "It's probably the biggest chip I've ever had on my shoulder. You gonna get the real P2 this year."

Peterson, 31, played all 16 games for the Cardinals last season, posting 61 tackles, three interceptions and eight passes defensed. It wasn't his best year, however. He led the NFL in penalties, being flagged 14 times (seven for holding).  

"Truthfully, last year wasn't his best year," former NFL cornerback and Peterson's trainer, Rod Hood, told Pompei. "He had a down year. A lot went into that."

Hood said in particular that Peterson fit well in James Bettcher's schemes when he was defensive coordinator in Arizona (2015-17), allowing the veteran cornerback to play a lot of man-to-man coverage. But he struggled more when subsequent coaches "pulled back the reins with him and tried to make him conform to what they wanted him to be."

Regardless, Peterson is ready to prove he's still one of the top lockdown corners in the game with the Vikings. Head coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings plan to allow him to run more press-man out wide. And he's already impressed his teammates.

"I was thinking at the end of practice today I have to go and talk to him and tell him he's making me better," Thielen said about practicing against Peterson. "He's got that dog in him. I talk a lot about what that 'it' factor is. I call it the dog factor, but you have to have it in this league to be that superstar, to be that guy who makes a team go from good to great. He's that guy."