Patrick Peterson: Cardinals Future Is 'Out of My Control' Ahead of Free Agency

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2021

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Star cornerback Patrick Peterson knows he may not control whether he returns to the Arizona Cardinals.

"I know that I will be playing football for someone, if it's the Cardinals or someone else," Peterson told USA Today's Mike Jones. "I'm a go-with-the-flow-type guy. That's out of my control. I've done everything I can do to show my worth, and I can still play this game. I know I will be playing football for somebody, so that's my approach."

In February, Peterson denied a rumor he and the Cardinals had agreed to go their separate ways.

"There is no real update," he said on his All Things Covered podcast after co-host Bryant McFadden raised the topic (via Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site). "It is just what you said it was: A dirty rumor. ... Me and the team haven't talked about contracts, we haven't talked about parting ways. That's just what it is, a dirty rumor. I don't know where [the reporter] got his insight from, but that was a dirty rumor."

Following the arrival of defensive lineman J.J. Watt, Spotrac projects Arizona to have $17.5 million in salary-cap space. Re-signing Peterson would likely require the Cardinals to sacrifice a lot of that flexibility, which they may need to address concerns beyond the cornerback position.

The 30-year-old might command a high price tag. He's an eight-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-Decade Team for the 2010s.

Even if his performance has dropped off, a general manager might hope the 6'1", 203-pound defensive back can turn things around in a different defense. Some analysts think he's the best cornerback slated to hit free agency.

Unless Peterson gives the Cardinals a hometown discount, it's difficult to envision how they can keep him in Arizona.