Patrick Peterson Calls Report of Potential Cardinals Exit a 'Dirty Rumor'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2021

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson denied speculation that it's been decided that he'll depart the organization in 2021.

Matt Verderame of FanSided reported Monday the sides are "parting ways barring a significant change in stances." Peterson, an impending unrestricted free agent, was asked about the rumor on Tuesday's edition of the All Things Covered podcast, which he co-hosts with former NFL corner Bryant McFadden.

"Honestly, there's no real update," Peterson said. "It is just what you said it was, a dirty rumor. I woke up to it this morning, as well. Me and the team haven't talked anything about contracts, haven't talked about parting ways. So that's just what it is, it's a dirty rumor. I don't know where [Matt] got his report from."

Peterson recorded 61 total tackles, eight passes defended and three interceptions in 2020 while finishing his five-year, $70.1 million contract with the Cardinals.

In December, the 30-year-old LSU product said he understood it would be a "unique" offseason for free agents as teams dealt with the financial ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, but he hoped a return to Arizona was possible.

"Everything is going to take care of itself," Peterson told reporters. "I've done all I can to present that I would love to be here, but at the end of the day, it's up to them. We'll just have to wait and see what the future brings after the season."

He's been a defensive cornerstone for the Cardinals since the franchise selected him with the fifth pick in the 2011 draft. He earned eight straight Pro Bowl appearances from 2011 through 2018.

Last February, Arizona general manager Steve Keim confirmed the front office wanted to keep Peterson for the duration of his career.

"Pat is a guy—[team owner] Michael [Bidwill] and I have talked many times about this—we'd love to see him retire as a Cardinal," Keim told Arizona Sports Radio (via Grant Gordon of NFL.com).

A lot will depend on what type of contract Peterson seeks.

He's one of several notable for free agents for the Cards, a list that includes wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, running back Kenyan Drake and linebackers Markus Golden and Haason Reddick, and they must maintain some financial flexibility with quarterback Kyler Murray due for an extension in the next few years.

It sounds like no final decision has been made on Peterson's return.